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November 20, 2018

Embu coffee societies drowning in debt, MPs call for forensic audits

Manyatta MP John Muchiri, Embu senator Njeru Ndwiga speaking at Kithimu Catholic Church  on August 19 2018
Manyatta MP John Muchiri, Embu senator Njeru Ndwiga speaking at Kithimu Catholic Church on August 19 2018

Coffee societies in Embu are deep in debt despite the produce selling for good prices globally.
Senator Njeru Ndwiga and Manyatta MP John Muchiri said the proceeds do not trickle down to the societies in Embu. They called for a countryside forensic audit of coffee societies.They spoke in Kithimu village on Sunday.
“The question is, where does this money go? This is why our Senate team wants to audit all coffee societies in Embu and the country at large,” Ndwiga said.
He called the price of coffee worldwide “quite good”. He is chairman of the Senate Agriculture committee.
Ndwiga said he has talked with the Agriculture Cabinet secretary on how to conduct forensic audits of coffee societies to rid them of problems.
“We have to stop this nonsense of debts in coffee once and for all because if the farmer grows coffee and takes it to the society and it’s sold, where does the debt come from?” the senator asked.  
He said societies’ annual general meetings usually draft budgets.
Muchiri supported the audit, saying it will rid societies of officials who steal from the farmers.
In June Embu MCAs petitioned state security agencies to protect dried coffee beans in farmers’ cooperative societies, following rampant theft.
Ruguru-Ngandori MCA Sammy Muturi and his Kyeni South colleague Salesio Kimaru said because of the current high prices of coffee beans, gangs were targetting factories and making away with hundreds of bags.
Muturi appealed to the county assembly to draft a law requiring armed police officers to protect dried coffee beans in farmers’ cooperative societies.
He called the numerous thefts from factory stores a matter of grave concern.

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