Commodities

Mombasa tea auction resumes after Friday raid

ktda-raid

Police officers in Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) Nairobi offices on April 17, 2021. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG

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Summary

  • The Mombasa tea auction resumed its activities yesterday after a raid by detectives paralysed the secondary trading session on Monday.
  • East African Tea Traders Association (Eatta), which termed the raid unwarranted said it traded the teas that had been offered for sale.
  • The auction normally runs two days in a week with the secondary session conducted on Monday followed by the primary one on Tuesday.

The Mombasa tea auction resumed its activities yesterday after a raid by detectives paralysed the secondary trading session on Monday.

East African Tea Traders Association (Eatta), which termed the raid unwarranted said it traded the teas that had been offered for sale.

The auction normally runs two days in a week with the secondary session conducted on Monday followed by the primary one on Tuesday.

“We managed to resume the auction on Tuesday following the interruptions last week that could not enable us to trade on Monday,” said Mr Edward Mudibo, managing director Eatta.

The detectives confiscated some of the gadgets that are key in running of the auction, according to Eatta.

The interruption may affect the orders that had been made earlier by international buyers with Eatta saying that it will be able to quantify the impact after the closure of Tuesday auction.

On Friday, DCI officials raided Eatta offices in Mombasa concurrently with the raids at KTDA head office in Nairobi.

The move follows a directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta last month to Attorney General to conduct investigations on KTDA as the government seeks to address farmers’ low earnings.

Mr Mudibo said the directive did not include an investigation at the auction, saying the move was not warranted.

“It will be noted from the said Executive Order that His Excellency the President granted mandate to the Attorney General to carry out certain investigations. However, it is glaring that in the said Executive Order no such directives were issued against EATTA,” he said.

The Mombasa Tea Auction is the largest tea auction in the world with 75 percent of the volume of tea traded through the auction centre. Close to 32 percent of the tea exported to the world passes through Mombasa.

Any form of interruption at the auction impacts on tea coming from 11 countries that trade their commodity through Mombasa.