The High Court has ordered the Auditor-General to verify the tea volumes supplied to the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) by farmers between 2018 and 2019.
Justice Kanyi Kimondo, issuing the orders in a case filed by the Murang’a county government and Governor Mwangi Wa Iria Monday, also directed an audit of bonuses paid to the farmers over the period.
Mr Wa Iria in his application wants the financial accounts of the KTDA made public due to what he terms continued reduction of the tea earnings.
The petitioners said there has been an unexplained substantial drop of tea payments amounting to Sh2.6 billion or 36 per cent from Sh11.2 billion in 2018 to Sh8.9 billion this year.
The county government said it would foot the bill for the independent audit since it represents the farmers.
Lead counsel Charles Njenga told the court that the issue was of public interest and that if not looked at, farmers would continue uprooting tea bushes, affecting the economy of the country.
“Pending the hearing and determination of this petition, I urge the Auditor-General… to consider carrying out an independent audit on the tea earnings, bonuses and the produce supplied to KTDA in the year 2019.”