Three arrested for torching 10 tea plucking machines in Kericho

Workers use a tea plucking machine at the Unilever Tea farm in Kericho on June 30, 2022.  Police in Kericho are holding three people suspected to have burnt 10 tea-plucking machines.

Photo credit: Lucy Wanjiru | Nation Media Group

Police in Kericho are holding three people suspected to have burnt 10 tea-plucking machines on Saturday morning.  

The machines belonging to Ekaterea Tea Company (formerly Unilever) were burnt down at around 6 am at Chebown Tea Estate in the Tagabi area, Belgut Constituency.

Belgut Sub-County Police Commander Ezekiel Kiche, who confirmed the incident, appealed to members of the public to volunteer information that could lead to the arrest of more suspects.  

"We have three suspects in custody and more are expected to be arrested in due course. We are appealing to members of the public to volunteer information on the incident," Mr Kiche said.

He said that police received intelligence information about the planned attack but arrived at the venue when the incident had just occurred.


Kericho Governor Erick Mutai appealed for calm saying it was not right to torch the machines as a protest for their deployment.

"Much as we are not happy as a people and the region's leadership about the deployment of tea plucking machines, it is not in order for anyone to take the law into their hands as we have witnessed," said Dr Mutai.

The governor said the matter should be addressed in a manner that is agreeable and a win-win situation for all parties to be agreed upon. 

Ekaterra Company's Corporate Affairs Manager Joseph Mitei said the police are investigating the incident

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