KTDA reinstates Ketepa boss on court directive

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KETEPA Managing Director, Albert Otochi. PHOTO | NMG

The Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) has reinstated Albert Otochi as managing director of Kenya Tea Packers (Ketepa) in compliance with the court directive.

In a letter dated December 28, 2022, KTDA chief executive Wilson Muthaura informed Mr Otochi, who had been suspended on September 28, 2022, and his salary slashed by half that he had been reinstated.

Mr Muthaura also informed Mr Otochi that his salary had been fully restored as ordered by the court.

The KTDA boss had been found in contempt of court after declining to reinstate Mr Otochi.

However, the judge did not sentence him but instead directed the CEO to reinstate the official to avoid a jail term.

β€œIn compliance with the ruling dated December 15, 2022, please be advised your suspension in a letter dated September 28, 2022, has been lifted and subsequently your full salary has been paid,” he said in a letter addressed to Mr Otochi.

In a letter dated September 22, 2022, KTDA suspended Mr Otochi and another official, placing them on half salary, however, the court restrained the agency from effecting the directive.

The two officials rushed to court in September after they were served with a show cause notice, for allegedly interacting with some directors of KTDA, with the court ruling in their favour.

β€œI will, therefore, require the respondents to purge the contempt by paying the claimant his full salary pending further orders of the court. I will also require the respondents to cease the disciplinary process in terms of the court orders of September 29 by setting aside the suspension of the claimant pending further direction by the court,” the court said.

According to Mr Otochi, Mr Muthaura misrepresented himself as the group chief executive, yet he is the general manager of human resources and administration and hence not his supervisor.

He argued the issuance of the letter, when he was not his supervisor, was unlawful.

He further said Mr Muthaura commenced the disciplinary process against him and the human resource policy says suspension should only be issued where there are pending investigations.

Mr Otochi said he was suspended yet there were no pending investigations.

Mr Muthaura was appointed as KTDA CEO following the suspension of the former head Lerionka Tiampati, who later resigned from the position.

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