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 .


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