Agriculture cabinet secretary Peter Munya has directed officers attached to the directorate of criminal investigations in Trans Nzoia County to launch investigations in to alleged misappropriation of funds meant for development at the Kapsara Tea Factory.
The factory is managed by the Kenya Tea Development Authority (KTDA) and former regional officials of the agency are accused of inappropriate usage of loan funds totaling to Sh 379 million that was secured to boost the factory’s operations.
“I am directing the county commissioner to see to it that investigative agencies get to the bottom of the matter to have all that are behind the misuse of funds are put to task to account for every single cent,” said Mr. Munya.
The officials are said to have secured Sh 103 million in 2018 and sh 276 million in 2019 that was meant to acquire modern factory machines and to install an automated power line. All the machines and the power lines are non functional.
The cabinet secretary said the debt owed to a lending firm contributed to poor operations of the factory and negatively impacted on the prices of its tea owing to its low quality that resulted from machines that are faulty.
Cherang’any MP Joshua Kuttuny said individuals who are behind the misuse of the funds must be held accountable for the mess which has seen farmers experience losses despite having spend a lot in production costs.
“The perpetrators are walking scot free yet their actions have undermined services of the factory whose productivity has been compromised as a result of the poor decisions that were made initially,” said Mr. Kuttuny.
Area Deputy Governor Dr. Stanley Tarus said boosting tea farming is critical to the county government’s diversification policy that has seen residents urged to deviate from over-reliance on Maize farming whose profitability is uncertain
“We appreciate the reforms that were initiated by the national government that are geared towards ensuring farmers get better returns out of their venture. We support this noble idea,” said Dr. Tarus.