Battle for the control of KTDA spills back to court

Kenya Tea Development Agency Ltd board addressing the press at their offices. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT | NMG

The fight for control of Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) has gone back to court as the management filed a case to block former directors from accessing the company’s head offices in Nairobi.

The suit was prompted by a move by former directors who were removed to storm back last month seeking to take over the operations.

The officials who were kicked out last year as part of State-backed reforms led by former KTDA chairman Peter Kanyago stormed the premises on September 26.

“As such, the 13 respondents are strangers to the applicant and their continued stay, access or attempt at accessing the applicant's premises uninvited amount to trespass and a violation of the physical integrity of the applicant’s Nairobi offices,” Mr Mathews Odero, the acting company secretary said.

The company said the presence of the former directors was disruptive to the operations.

The court heard that since then, they have repeatedly tried to access the offices, a move that might paralyse the company’s work.

“The respondents have further proceeded to demand for documents and access to digital properties of the applicant raising the spectre that the respondents have an ulterior motive to alter, amend or otherwise change the documentation of the applicant,” KTDA says in court documents.

High Court judge Chacha Mwita certified the case as urgent but declined to grant any orders sought by the company. The judge directed the case to be heard on December 7.

The court heard that their continued demand to access the records threatens the confidentiality of the company’s operations and may result in a breach of the Data Protection Act, among other laws.

The former directors said in a statement that they were resuming office based on the High Court orders, adding that the current officeholders are in contravention of the court decision.

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