Tea farmers decry alleged embezzlement, low bonus payments

Dissatisfied farmers affiliated with Iria-ini Tea Factory have lamented over low bonuses and alleged fund embezzlement by the factory’s management.

The farmers suspect extravagant executive expenses and questionable procurement practices. They also complained that the factory is one of the lowest payers in the region, compensating farmers a mere Ksh38  for a kilogram of tea leaves yet neighboring factories reportedly pay as high as Ksh57 per kilogram.

Beatrice Wangui lamented that at times the factory rejects their tea for no apparent reason, so they end up selling it to neighboring factories or tea brokers.

John Maina revealed that he has decided to uproot his entire crop plantation and venture into a new income-generating activity.

Jane Wanjiku revealed that the factory management decided to sell the state-of-the-art orthodox tea processing machine and that workers are forced to work overtime in the hopes that farmers will benefit yet it’s all in vain.

“We demand our rights. If the factory management does not change, we are determined to sell our tea leaves to tea hawkers and other factories.” Wanjiku said.

By Macharia Kiarie

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