Recuse yourself or else- farmers
An effigy of the Embu High Court Judge Lucy Njuguna being burnt down by angry tea farme rs from Kirinyaga's zone five for allegedly being compromised by 36 former directors they sacked in April last year resulting to a legal battle at the expense of the tea sector after a hastily convened meeting this afternoon at Kangaita tea factory.
Tea farmers numbering about 70,000 from the Zone Five , have asked the Embu High Court Judge Lucy Njuguna to recuse herself from case former KTDA Directors have filed against them .
The highly charged farmers threatened to storm her court on Monday next week when the case is scheduled for hearing .
They claimed Justice Njuguna had been compromised by the 36 directors the farmers ejected from office Five months ago as part of the reforms taking place in the tea sector.
Irate tea farmers from Kirinyaga's Zone Five waving placards smashing up an effigy of the Embu High Court Judge Lucy Njuguna for allegedly entertaining a group of 36 former factory directors case which has stalled sector operation at a hastily convened meeting at Kangaita tea factory this afternoon.
The farmers have also petitioned the Judicial Service Commission to investigate the said Judge since her colleagues in Kisii and Meru Counties had dismissed such similar cases.
Posed the farmers “ do the Kenyan High Courts make different rulings on similar matters handled in different stations (High Courts).”
The aggrieved farmers are further questioning the logic of the case having been filed in Embu when there was still a High Court in Kirinyaga the jurisdiction of the matter.
An effigy of the Embu Judge Lucy Njuguna whom 70,000 tea farmers from Zone Five want to disqualify herself from hearing a case filed against them by 36 former directors short of which they will all storm the court and forcibly eject her claiming she has since been compromised at the expense of the sector.
Speaking at Kangaita tea factory during a hastily convened meeting this morning over the matter, the farmers also resolved that there will not be any tea plucking on that Monday while all their lorries which transport green tea will be required to escort them to the court .
“We are urging the Chief Justice Martha Koome to intervene and demand an explanation from the said Judge what interests she has on the tea sector which is currently undergoing reforms ,” said Mary Wambui more so on matters emanating from Kirinyaga’s Zone Five tea factories,”said Lawrence Kibara , a farmer.
The farmers also wondered how the 36 former Directors could be entertained to ruin the sector which benefits about 70,000 within the said zone.
A crisis meeting over the matter is on going at the kangaita tea factory . More details to follow while the case is slated for Monday next week.
“In a democracy the will of the majority caries the day and as such since we are over 70,000 against 36 individuals whom we sent home in April last year when the reforms began the court should dismiss their case,” fumed Beatrice Wangeci , an irate farmer at the meeting .
And to ensure they vented their anger of Justice Njuguna , the farmers burnt down at the eeting veneue an effigy of her as emotions ran high since they cannot access their 50 per cent pay due to the impending case.
All the factory Directors , tea buying center committee officials from the entire zone attended the meeting while the suit is against the directors and their respective factories .
“Having named our factories as second respondent in the matter and we own the facility ,logically it us farmers who have been sued ,” said Ndambiri Njoka , a farmer.
The zone five Director Mithamo wa Susana attended the meeting and said he was going to notify the government agents in Embu of the intended storming of the court so as to provide security .
It was further resolved no green tea will ever be delivered to the buying Centres from the shambas owned by the 36 directors nor any tea pickers will be allowed into such shambas as a punitive measure for taking the farmers to court until they withdrew the case .
The people driven reforms were initiated by the farmers themselves who received support from the government after it emerged the sector was on the verge of collapsing early last year .