Ogembo Tea factory in Kisii gets six new Directors
Farmers affiliated to Ogembo Tea factory in Gucha Sub County, Kisii County yesterday elected six directors from six electoral zones following the government’s directive to reform the tea sub sector.
The six directors- Enock Riendo, Bomachoge Borabu zone, Fred Mokua, Sengera, James Ombasa, Bomachoge Chache, Peter Machuka, Bonchari, Enosh Anyona, South Mugirango and Mary Kwamboka Jacob, Magena were elected at Tendere Primary school in Bomachoge Chache constituency.
Returning officer, Jimmy Momanyi said the election was free and fair, adding that former directors were invited to apply but declined and instead circulated propaganda calling on farmers to boycott the polls.
He said he has information that the former directors were planning to lock the factory in order to bar new directors. He also stressed that farmers have vowed to escort the new directors to the factory on Monday to start working.
“It is the farmers who elect the directors and not vice versa. The factory belongs to the farmers and they are the ones who elect the directors,” Momanyi said.
The RO said that the farmers wore masks, maintained social distance and washed their hands before they entered the school to vote, adding that security had also been beefed up.
Speaking to People Daily after elections, Ombasa who is one of the new directors said that the first task for the directors will be to find out the malpractices in the factory and take appropriate measures in order to curb it to streamline the factory’s operations for farmers’ benefit.
“We want to know the status of land which the directors bought in Transmara in Narok county to plant trees for firewood and demand for its Title Deed” Ombasa said.
He also said they will order a probe into Rianyakwana Hydro Power station, tendering processes at the factory and whether farmers get value for their money.
Simeon Borura, who lost to Machuka claimed clerks never verified Identity cards and pay slips for farmers before they voted, alleging the exercise was not free and fair.
“Some boda boda operators were given photocopies of slips and allowed to vote. I complained but the clerks said they were overwhelmed” Borura said.
Wright Onsoti, who was a candidate for Magena zone surrendered and opted to support Kwamboka after he sensed defeat ahead of the election.
“I had few supporters so I decided to support Kwamboka. I urge her to unite the losers and work with them to improve the tea sub sector,” Onsoti said.
Kwamboka said she will work with her rivals and ensure that the government’s reforms are implemented to improve farmers’ earnings and welfare.