By Jeremy Ogola
NAIROBI, More than 150,000 tea farmers in Kenya who market their produce through the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) have elected their regional representatives to the agency’s 66 tea factories.
KTDA Group Company Secretary John Kennedy Omanga on Thursday described the elections which were held on Tuesday as free and fair as the farmers, who are shareholders of the 66 tea factory companies managed by KTDA, went to the polls two days ago to elect the directors for their factories.
According to results released by the KTDA, 37 candidates were elected unopposed, while there were 27 new directors and 45 candidates were re-elected.
The elections came after tea farmers enjoyed high earnings in 2015, with tea bonus payments rising 21 per cent compared with what was distributed in 2014.
“The shareholders, who are small-scale tea farmers, elect one-third of factory company directors who retire on rotation every year and are subject to the nomination process according to their respective company articles,” said Omanga.
Omanga noted that a majority of the shareholders have fully understood the rationale for electing directors based on the strength of the individual shareholders.
The annual polls are an essential part of the corporate governance process at KTDA-managed factories that requires shareholders to elect their representatives as stipulated under Company Law and Articles of respective factory companies.