Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya has called on the National Assembly and the Senate to institute a forensic audit of the Kenya Tea Development Agency.
Speaking at Imenti South Ward in Meru County on Sunday when he met tea farmers to discuss the proposed Tea Regulations, Munya said there are numerous financial malpractices at the tea agency which has led to farmers losing money.
“We know there is Kshs 200 million KTDA receives every month which is not accounted for in its books. We have information and when investigation will begin, the truth will be known,” Munya said.
According to Munya farmers have been losing money through cartels embedded in the agency and tea auction where brokers take advantage of the farmers.
“That’s why we are saying parliament should pass a resolution to institute a forensic audit of KTDA. That’s the only way to unearth the truth. We need to know where all assets owned by farmers are, who owns them and who has been given loans,” Munya added.
CS Munya said with the new tea regulations each farmer will get his or her sweat adding that the regulations are meant to assist the farmer.
The Agriculture CS said it was very unfortunate that some politicians were taking advantage of the Tea Regulations to give themselves political mileage whereas the President has come out publicly to ensure that Coffee, Tea, Cotton Sugar and other cash crops are safeguarded from cartels.
South Imenti Mp Kathuri Murungi backed the forensic audit and urged tea farmers to co-operate with the National Government in developing the regulations.
KTDA announced last week that its 54-managed tea factory companies will from this week start reviewing and approving the factories’ audited annual accounts for the 2019-2020 Financial Year, ahead of the declaration of the final bonus payment.
KTDA says its turnover for this year grew 14 percent to stand at KShs 79 billion compared to the last financial year. The total pay-out inclusive of initial payment and final will be confirmed once all the factories have declared their results.
In the 2018/2019 financial year, total turnover amounted to KShs 69 billion, and farmers received payment totaling KShs 46 billion.