RELIEF

KTDA directors to resume office after court's ruling

In Summary
  • According to the judge, the petition was not merited in the first instance for the reason that it did not pose a constitutional question.
  • He added that issues that had been raised by the petitioners were invalid to the extent that the company secretary had powers to both set the election rules
Tea pickers at Iria-ini Primary School in Othaya, Nyeri county.
Tea pickers at Iria-ini Primary School in Othaya, Nyeri county.
Image: EUTYCAS MUCHIRI

The High Court in Nairobi has today dismissed a petition challenging the elections of both Kenya Tea Directorate Authority's (KTDA) directors; saying that it lacked merit.

The petition, which had been filed by three farmers, Joseph Mwangi Mbote, Peterson Maina Gathua and Samson Mwangi Wairugu, contesting the 2019 elections of Tea Factory Companies directors; faulted the rules under which the elections were conducted, questioning the role TDA Holdings’ Company Secretary as the chief electoral officer.

The petition, which had been filed under a certificate of urgency and presented as a constitutional petition, had named KTDA Holdings Limited and KTDA Management Services Limited as respondents in the case.

In its submission through lawyer Ben Milimo,KTDA argued that the three petitioners had moved to court before going for arbitration or through the established dispute resolution mechanism that have been put in place.

KTDA said it is a limited liability company incorporated under the company’s Act CAP 486 of the laws of Kenya making its governance fall under the company’s Act 2015 and its Articles of Memorandum of Association.

The tea authority argued that the petitioners were neither its shareholders nor members hence lacked the right to lodge a petition or seek orders in the notice of motion before the court.

In his ruling, Justice Weldon Korir said that the petition was not merited in the first instance for the reason that it did not pose a constitutional question.

The judge added that even if it did, the issues that had been raised by the petitioners were invalid to the extent that the company secretary had powers to both set the election rules as well as appoint election officials.

The Court held that the rules were not only valid but continued to be valid for purposes of the election of the Tea Factory Companies as well as the KTDA Holdings Limited.

According to the judge,  some of the directors who had presented the petition had, by virtue of having served their three-year tenure in office, they were no longer directors of their respective tea factories.

The ruling means that directors who had been temporarily barred by the court from assuming office pending  ruling can are now allowed to take up their roles and execute their mandate as office-bearers.