The Star (Nairobi)

24 January 2013

Kenya: Factory Chairman Put to Task Over Report

Tension was high yesterday at a tea factory in Murang'a after hundreds of farmers disputed the annual financial report.

The Kiru Tea Factory farmers in Mathioya nearly engaged in fisticuffs with the factory management when they were told there was a mix up in the report. The farmers were angry when the factory accountant Roy Mutembei told them the report they had received was from another tea factory. Mutembei was at pains to explain how the mixup had occurred.

The farmers said they suspected foul play, saying something fish was afoot.

"How can a financial report from another tea factory finds its way into our report," asked farmer James Kariuki.

The farmers now and then shouted down the board chairman Chege Kirundi who tried had to convince them that the mixup had taken place because of a printing error.

"This is not a cover up, the mixup occurred when the report was being printed," said Chege. "I suspect the mix up came up when we were photocopying the reports."

He said the report had been cross-checked and passed by the board before being printed raising further questions.

The farmers asked him how the board could have signed the document with errors.

He added that they received the reports with the mix up last week adding that the company never suspected that the mix up would bring issues.

"We have no confident with the management and if they could not detect any mix up how can we trust them with running of our company," added another farmer.

The meeting ended with disarray after a heated battle of words between the farmers and the management emerged.

Kirundi however admitted that the factory board had made an error adding that this was not intended.

However the farmers further disputed the report after it emerged that the two financial reports from the both factories were similar.

"Apart from the management pinning Githambo financial reports in our annual release the two reports were similar in figures. How was this possible," asked another furious farmer.

"We have not stolen any coin from the farmers and the audit report can reveal that," added the chairman.

The farmers also questioned why the management stopped the KTDA director that was supposed to be conducted last month.

They said the management stopped the election to maintain the corrupt directors in office.

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