KTDA fails in its bid to block former directors from office

A farmer plucking tea

A farmer plucking tea. The Kenya Tea Development Agency has failed in its bid to bar a group of former directors from accessing its headquarters.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) has failed in its bid to bar a group of former directors from accessing its headquarters and presenting themselves as the firm’s officials, as fight for control of the company continues to heat up in court.

High Court Judge Chacha Mwita declined to issue the injunction, and directed the two factions of directors to appear before him on December 7, 2022 for further directions.

The new directors led by chairman David Ichoho had asked Justice Mwita to issue temporary orders on grounds that the other faction led by Mr Peter Kanyago was ousted in December 2021.

Interestingly, one of the individuals listed by the Ichoho-led group, Paul Mwangi Kagema, as a director died on August 11, 2021.

Mr Kagema was chairman of Gacharage Tea Factory in Murang’a County until his demise.

Mr Mathews Odero, who was appointed acting company secretary in June, said in an affidavit that the Kanyago-led group has been reporting to KTDA’s offices and ordering employees around hence affecting business.

Mr Odero adds that KTDA will be forced to breach contracts with third parties if the former directors are not barred from the company’s premises or passing themselves off as directors.

The Kanyago-led group has since last year insisted that it is still legally in office following orders issued by the courts.

“As such, the 13 respondents are strangers to the applicant and their continued stay, access or attempt at accessing the applicants premises uninvited amount to trespass and a violation of the physical integrity of the applicant’s Nairobi offices,” Mr Odero, the acting company secretary said.

He went on: “I am aware that on September 26, 2022 around 7am, the respondents herein arrived at the applicant’s (KTDA) office and using threats at the security offices manning the premises managed to get access to the applicant’s premises located at the KTDA Farmers Building, junction of Ronald Ngala lane and Moi Avenue within the Nairobi central business district.”

Mr Odero added that the Kanyago group has demanded access to company records several times, threatening the confidentiality of the company’s operations.

He noted that KTDA may fail to participate in the daily tea auction that supports at least 600,000 small-scale farmers across the country.