Destroying machinery at tea firms a misstep


A valiant tea plucking machine commandeered by youths and driven to Brooke trading centre in the outskirts of Kericho town where it was later torched by the roadside on May 22, 2023. PHOTOS | VITALIS KIMUTAI | NMG

The destruction of property belonging to tea multinationals in the protests against mechanisation of plucking is unfortunate and individuals involved should face the law.

While some grievances the workers and residents raised might make sense, they should note that the right to protest does not extend to destruction of private property.

The companies being attacked create jobs to thousands of Kenyans and earn the country foreign exchange through exports.

Local leaders must now stop politicising the issues and work with authorities to stop the senseless attacks.

The sustained attacks are sending the wrong message to foreign investors.

Already, the economy is struggling, seen in factories shutting and job losses, leaving millions of households without income. Destroying private investments will only worsen the situation.

Kenyans should also be alive to the fact that due to shifting trends, some jobs are likely to be mechanised for businesses to stay afloat and achieve efficiency. 

Upskilling and retraining to match new roles is the right route to take in a fast-changing job market as employers juggle many factors.