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January 18, 2019

Wrangles delay Kitinda dairy farmers’ payment

The kitinda dairy factory in Bungoma.PHOTOS JOHN NALIANYA
The kitinda dairy factory in Bungoma.PHOTOS JOHN NALIANYA

Leadership wrangles have threatened to derail operations at Kitinda Dairy Farmers Cooperative Society.

The wrangles involve board of directors chairman Johnston Nyongesa, manager Bonventure Masibo and Bungoma Agriculture executive Mathews Makanda.

Nyongesa, whose vice chairman Robert Shundwa resigned last week but rescinded the decision, has blocked the management from accessing the society’s finances, thus delaying payment to farmers.

The farmers staged protests at the county offices on Monday demanding their money. They also petitioned the executive to intervene in the running of the society.

Belick Juma, a farmer, said the infighting among board members was to blame for delay in payments.

“We are suffering because we have not received our money since the leadership is engaged in supremacy battles,” he said.

Eunice Mang’oli, another farmer, said they are unable to cater for their needs and to buy feeds and medicine for their animals.

“We are even unable to pay fees for our children,” she said.

Nyongesa has accused the society’s manager of attempting to borrow a Sh60 million loan for a milk processing plant, saying the procurement process was not properly followed. He said the supplier of the machine was brought in by Makanda and the meeting was held in the executive’s office.

“We do not have the power of borrowing that amount of money as it had not been approved by farmers during the AGM,” he said.

He said borrowing powers by the farmers during the AGM was set at Sh5 million.

Masibo dismissed the claims, saying trouble started when Nyongesa missed out on a benchmarking trip to Meru Dairy Cooperative, and was thus disgruntled for missing allowances.

But Masibo said the trip was fully funded by a Finnish company, Elecster, the supplier of the milk processing plant.

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