It’s a new dawn. Tea farmers across the country can finally see light at the end of the tunnel.
Tea farmers from Chinga, Nyeri County, broke into song and dance after voting out veteran Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) Chairman Peter Kanyago as their representative.
He was replaced by Mark Mwangi, who garnered 235 votes. Jane Muthoni’ managed 27 votes.
Kanyago was not present during the voting.
He will now have to step down from the KTDA position because he cannot be the national chair having lost a zonal election.
Kanyago has been at agency’s helm for 26 years.
Farmers have been accusing him of being behind a cartel that has seen the prices of raw tea drop significantly over the years. He is allegedly one of the infamous tea brokers.
But the Tea Amendment Bill 2018, which was signed into law in December 2020 by President Uhuru Kenyattta, seems to be the game-changer.
In the new reforms, the previous system where tea farmers with the most shares had more power during the casting of ballots has been abolished. Now it’s one man, one vote.
However, KTDA has moved to court to oppose the latest changes, insisting that they are still the policy makers of the multi-billion industry.