The Star (Nairobi)

4 December 2012

Kenya: Demonstrations At ADC Kitale Were Stage Managed, Says Kirwa

ADC managing director William Kirwa has said the demonstrations at the weekend at the farm were planned by outsiders and not the workers themselves. He said the "external forces" had the intention of paralysing the farm's services.

"The demonstrations were organised by outsiders," said Kirwa. "ADC is looking into ways of redressing the workers' complaints. On Saturday, locals and a section of workers held a peaceful demonstration to protest over poor working conditions at the corporation.

The workers were protesting the failure of Labour Minister John Munyes to address their grievances. Munyes in September had promised to look into their grievances by sending the Labour commissioner to investigate their claims.

Led by Jennifer Masis, the workers complained that instead of being a salary they were being paid in food rations. The workers alleged that they are given flour and milk instead of a salary.

In September, the workers through the assistant minister of Land Wakoli Bifwoli asked Munyes to intervene and address the issue. They said nothing so far has been done.

The demonstrators said workers live in old grass thatched houses and that do have toilets. They also reiterated that Trans Nzoia County is cosmopolitan, and wondered why only one ethnic community is awarded employment at Kenya seed.

Kenya seed managing director Willy Bett was unavailable for comment over the claims. The residents were complaining that Kenya Seed which neighbours ADC was employing workers based on tribal grounds.

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