NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 25 — The Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) has welcomed a probe by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations into alleged misappropriation of funds, days after declining to collaborate with detectives investigating the matter.
The agency had through its lawyers stated that the DCI has no jurisdiction to investigate the agency and its officials, after Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti summoned the agency’s officials to the DCI Headquarters for grilling.
The agency’s lawyers had further stated that KTDA managers only answer to its shareholders and not any other person.
However in a quick turn of events on Monday, the agency through a statement to newsrooms said it will cooperate with investigators.
The tea development agency reiterated its commitment to operating in an environment that provides accountability and transparency.
“KTDA welcomes the inquiry by the DCI, and indeed by any other constitutionally-mandated institution, to inquire about our operations in the management of over 600,000 tea farmers who are industry stakeholders,” read the statement.
The investigations on the alleged misuse of funds at the agency came about after farmers sought the help of detectives to unravel how millions of shillings have been used to pay for legal fees.
Kinoti also asked the KTDA officials to submit an audit of its lawsuits and documents relating to its retained lawyers as farmers continue to pile pressure on the company over poor pay and insider trading.
Those to be grilled include Chief Executive Officer Lerionka Tiampati, Company Secretary John Omanga, Head of Procurement Brown Kanampiu, Head of Finance Simeom Rugut and Head of Audit Lincoln Munyao.