The New Kenya Planters Co-operative Union starts to repossess three mills leased by precursor
The Kenya Planters Co-operative Union which is now rebranded union to start afresh has begun reclaiming its mills countrywide. This comes a week after the High Court allowed the New KPCU to oversee the Sh3 Billion Coffee Cherry Advance Fund capitalized by the government.
Five days ago, there was drama at the Kenya Planters Co-operative Union Meru branch as the New KPCU tried to deploy new management at the premises as they demanded the employees to hand over the legal documents.
The New KPCU management saw the eviction of the Meru County Coffee Union (MCCU) from the Meru factory and installed new guards to man the premises.
New KPCU director Thuranira Atheru said Acting General Manager Joel Imitira led the team that was involved in the handover of the Meru mills.
He said other teams simultaneously took over the mills in Kisii and Sagana pending the floating of tenders to lease them again.
MCCU General Manager Duncan Marete said no notice was given prior to the arrival of the New KPCU team who demanded they vacate the premises immediately.
“Our pleas to be allowed to secure our assets fell on deaf ears and we had to give way to avoid confrontation,” said Mr. Marete.
MCCU has since instructed its lawyers to challenge the eviction in court while the union leadership plans a meeting to decide how they will manage produce from their affiliated factories after their only mill was taken over.
“The union leadership will determine whether they will construct their own factory which required between Ksh150 million and Ksh200 million,” said Marete.
Mr. Atheru, a Meru-based lawyer, said legally, the New KPCU needed to take over the assets of its precursor before any fresh arrangements can be entered into.
Faced with dwindling clients, the old KPCU leased its mills at Meru and Kisii to the local county coffee unions and the Sagana Coffee Mills to the Kenya Co-operative Coffee Mills (KCCM) over five years ago.