Kenya Tea Development Agency management led by chairman Peter Kanyago, chief executive officer, Lerionka Tiampati and company secretary John Omanga have sponsored an all-expenses paid trip to the United States of America for Agriculture cabinet secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri.
The CS, even with guns now trained on the massive corruption and plunder at the lucrative KTDA, which has now exploded at the national assembly and senate is under the lenses of public scrutiny.
The cartels are holding the government ministries, agencies and even the media at ransom as it is emerging that Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji, his counterparts at Directorate of Criminal Investigation George Kinoti and Mbarak Twalib of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission have done a commendable job in this country cannot crack, or even raid the KTDA.
This is in spite volumes of letters that have been written to the trio, with numerous of complaints.
Meanwhile, as trouble is fast getting out of hand in tea sector where farmers have been uprooting tea and rioting, a petition has once again been filed in parliament specifically asking Kiunjuri the role of ministry of Agriculture visa vis those of the county department of Agriculture. The other MPs who have called on the disbandment of KTDA include Mathira legislator Rigathi Gachagua and Nyeri women representative Rahab Mukami who have insisted on regulation of the tea crop’s husbandry, manufacture, auction and marketing.
Even as CS Kiunjuri enjoys goodies from KTDA crooks in the US where he is said to have gone to be paid millions of shillings, Gatundu MP Moses Kuria added his voice to the chorus of condemnation of KTDA and asked why the government must allow the sector to go the coffee way.
As this plunder reaches the highest level of impunity, the petition asking the role of the farmers representation in KTDA board of management and how much dividend has been paid to the farmers in the financial years of 2016/2017, 2017/2018 and 2018/2019, the farmers want Kiunjuri to confirm if the systems and operations of KTDA are supported by law and whether the audit report of KTDA Ltd is subject to the requirements of the public audit Act although KTDA seems exempted from criminal investigations by DCI.
“Could the cabinet secretary consider lifting KTDA’s veil and direct serious investigation and audit of KTDA Ltd and all its more than 10 investments, with special emphasis on the role, position, financial, decision and capacity of tea farmer in all these investments,” reads a petition by Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo, who has also drawn a Bill of take back the tea sector to government to help terminate the wanton looting.
The audit queries were instigated by the Kiru Tea Factory of Murang’a county when they asked KTDA to do a forensic audit report of all tea factories affiliated to it and the balance sheet of KTDA.
This rubbed KTDA the wrong way and a battlefront was opened where even before the forensic audit was done, matters dragged in court and for three years nothing has been done even after Tiampati, Kanyago and Omanga’s shenanigans saw them being stripped with contempt of court sentence of seven months or Sh400,000 fine each.
They managed to pay the fine (from which accounts?) and still in abuse of office, particularly Chapter Six of the Kenya constitution – on ethics and governance and are still limping in office to an extent of taking farmers’ money to entertain cabinet minister (Kiunjuri who should help the government haul the culprits behind bars in Kamiti Prison-nothing seem to matter for these mandarins).
Another contempt of court against the KTDA thieves is still pending in court and eyes are on Justice William Ouko, the president of the Court of Appeal why he has failed to give a date so that the case(s) are determined and if found guilty again, KTDA crooks are thrown in jail. They have bragged that they hold the judiciary at ransom and this might be, so, given the delay that has forever been seen with litigations against KTDA.
This is coming at a time when Daily Nation management has been drawn in the KTDA murky waters and indeed as millions of shillings have been poured to spike any story against KTDA.
If Kiunjuri feels that he must eat with KTDA, he should do so but reform the sector, because the corruption war being wedged by Uhuru Kenyatta will soon or later catch up with him and KTDA chaps even when they finally leave office, they said.
Raila Odinga has too hit at corruption at KTDA and even challenged Kinoti, Haji and Twalib to act and pundits are wondering what this corruption at KTDA is made of, where farmers are dying and the plunder continues as relatives and friends are given lucrative and overpriced and fraudulent tenders including those of hydropower project which have no return and which has seen Yara river and Mathioya river Murang’a drying up as KTDA invests in moribund projects.
It is said that the KTDA cartels who took Kiunjuri on the joyride trip, drinking and bribery are out to bribe former permanent secretary Nyakiera who has been writing on what should be done to salvage the tea sector and who has been opposed to the rip-off at KTDA.
The man tasked with bringing Nyakiera on fold is none other than Kanyago who claims to have Uhuru’s ear because of his business dealings with the president’s uncle George Muhoho with whom they are directors at Atlas Tea Brokers
From Kiunjuri, anybody in the tea sector is targeted for lunch meetings which ends up with other lucrative deals and meetings locally or abroad.