The Kenya Tea Development Authority (KTDA) has once again turned to the courts to throw a spanner in the tea reforms by Agriculture CS Peter Munya. Yesterday, the High Court in Nairobi issued orders stopping the implementation of a Gazette Notice by the Agriculture CS that sought to form a National Steering Committee on the implementation of Tea Reforms in Kenya; after the process was challenged by KTDA.
In a Judicial Review application, KTDA argued that some of the people appointed in the committee have publicly pronounced themselves adversely against KTDA; have cases in Court on matters relating to the operations of the company; while others have broken contractual relationships with the Applicant. KTDA argued that the said Committee members have not only openly disclosed open bias against KTDA but are also conflicted and unfit to preside over any issues relating to the company.
KTDA also argues that there isn’t an existing law empowering CS Munya to form such a committee; adding that no law grants him power to appropriate public funds vested to the Agricultural and Food Authority (AFA) – as was contained in the Gazette Notice.
In her ruling, Lady Justice Pauline Nyamweya said: “…the application had met the threshold of an arguable case and is therefore entitled to the leave sought to commence judicial review proceedings against the Respondent.”
She directed that the matter be mentioned on 21st September 2020 for further directions.
CS Peter Munya had on the 25th of June 2020 Gazetted a Notice appointed an eight-member committee to, among other tasks, evaluate the policy, regulatory and administrative reforms in the tea value chain. KTDA has been resisting the tea reforms which proposes its overhaul and audit