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Police thwart meeting to oust coffee manager at last minute

19 November 2013, 22:22 Joseph Njung’eh

Nyeri - A meeting of coffee farmers affiliated to Kiandu Coffee Factory, Nyeri County, was thwarted by police following a declaration by area OCPD, Stephen Obara, that it was illegal.

A group of armed policemen dispersed  more than 100 farmers after the factory’s management accused them of holding the meeting unlawfully.

The farmers were attempting to kick out the management team after accusing them of misappropriation and embezzling funds.

The meeting, held inside the factory, had gone well from 10:00am with tight security from the same police officers following threats from the sitting chairman, James Macharia said their presence at the meeting was risky.

It had been convened by a splinter group which is claiming that Macharia has mismanaged their investments and has refused to leave office.

However, Tetu OCPD later ordered the police to disperse the farmers immediately saying that they had not notified him the intention of the meeting.

The splinter group spokesman, Mundia Kariuki said they have suffered for two years with hopes that the management will adjust but there had been no signs of improvement.

“The farmers are demanding an immediate audit of their accounts,” said Mundia.

According to Mundia, they are further accusing three officials of lack of accountability and transparency in handling the financial matters. 

“We have been intimated by the management after demanding a explanation on why they have not presented an audited account of all the financial transactions which has taken place for the past two years,” Mundia added.

The group also raised alarm that Macharia is being protected by some senior cooperative officers in the region and could be reason why it has been difficult to remove him from office.

They said he is frustrating them, and that he has powers of the society and protection from above.

Mundia however vowed to continue with efforts of ousting Macharia to salvage farmers’ financial investment, despite frustrations from the authority.

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