Parliament wants President Uhuru Kenyatta to establish a commission of inquiry to investigate the loss of billions of shillings belonging to farmers under Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA).
The Senate adopted a report of an ad hoc committee that was constituted to look into the challenges facing the tea sector.
The committee that was chaired by Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot also recommended that a forensic audit be undertaken covering 18 years that KTDA has operated as a private entity.
“The committee recommends that the President form a Commission of Inquiry to look into the issues raised by farmers which include avenues that were available to farmers to address their grievances after KTDA was converted from a parastatal to managing entity,” Mr Cheruiyot said in the report unanimously adopted by the Senate.
The inquiry team will also look into alleged misappropriation of farmers’ income in dubious investments.
“We want to know why KTDA invested Sh7 billion in Chase Bank and Sh14 billion in Imperial Bank before both lenders collapsed.
“This could have been a window to siphon farmer’s money by the management of the KTDA,” Mr Cheruiyot said at a press conference in Parliament.
This makes the second attempt to open the operations of KTDA for public scrutiny.
On Monday, the High Court invited the Auditor General to scrutinise the agency’s revenues and bonus payments in a ruling of a case filed by Murang’a governor Mwangi wa Iria.
Yesterday, Nyeri Senator Ephraim Maina asked the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to move with speed and investigate the directors of KTDA over alleged siphoning of public funds.
“The DCI and the government should move in with speed even as we wait for the Commission of Inquiry to be set up and investigate massive irregularities at KTDA,” Mr Maina said.
Mr Cheruiyot said the Clerk of the Senate Jeremiah Nyegenye is preparing letters to the President and other agencies of government to implement the House recommendations.