KTDA new board sends CEO, top executives on compulsory leave


Kenya Tea Development new board of directors at the headquarters in Nairobi on June 21, 2021 with chair David Ichocho addressing the press. PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU | NMG

The long-serving chief executive officer of Kenya Tea Development (KTDA) Lerionka Tiampati and five other top officials have been sent on compulsory leave by the agency’s new board.

The board’s new chair David Ichocho said the six have been sent on a three-month leave to allow investigations on their conduct.

The decision was reached on Monday during the new board’s first meeting held at the agency’s headquarters amid heavy police presence on fears that the outgoing directors would interrupt the meeting.

Other members who have been sent on leave include the company secretary John Omanga, managing director Alfred Njagi, finance and strategy director Benson Ngari and David Mbugua, general manager ICT.

“… the board of directors has made the following resolution, that the following senior managers will immediately proceed on compulsory leave to allow for the necessary investigations and determination of culpability for any malpractices and possible abuse of office,” said Mr Ichocho.

In a separate statement, the outgoing board dismissed the decision of Mr Ichocho saying they have no mandate to undertake any function at the agency.

“The said group has purported to distribute amongst themselves positions at KTDA Holdings. We wish to notify shareholders and the general public that the meeting was not convened by KTDA Holdings PLC. The public are advised to ignore any pronouncements and declarations by this group of people,” read the statement.

The new board was inaugurated last week by the Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya.

The board said forensic audit of the operational and financial system will be undertaken in due course and that procurement contracts will be reviewed to ascertain value for money and determine if the services and goods were obtained within the market benchmarks.