Speaking to K24 Digital on July 8, 2024, the residents alleged that the factory exploited them by paying them low wages, sending them to work long hours without allowances, and exposing them to health risk factors that violated labour laws.

The over 2,000 residents raised concerns about casual workers from the said factory who were not permanently employed by the management.

The residents who were mainly from Timobo, Siwo, Chepkunyuk and Kapchorua, paralysed businesses at the tea farms as they demanded the right of workers and residents to be heard.

According to one resident, Wilson Letting, some locals have worked for over 15 years without being considered for employment.

“There is a lot of oppression here to casual workers. This must stop. Why pay someone Ksh200 per day instead of Ksh800 which is against labour laws?” Letting posed.

Additionally, the residents, while demonstrating towards Kapchorua Tea Factory offices, lamented that their pleas to the management to address the low wages had been neglected for a long time.

“They are breaching labour laws. They are really punishing these residents. We are having a meeting to ensure such end immediately, “Kitur remarked.

The legislator vowed to defend the electorates by all means and ensure that they got fair treatment from the said factory.

“Youths also need job opportunities right here. 70 per cent should be of locals, the rest can come from outsiders,” Kitur added.

Kapchorua ward Member of County Assembly (MCA) Richard Bett who had also accompanied the legislator said some of the residents who are workers in the same factory were being subjected to health risk factors as they lacked proper equipment to use while engaging in their daily work. He promised to fight for justice for law workers.

“Someone is spraying tea farms minus protections like masks…they are breathing in chemicals. This is so bad that the company cannot provide such equipment,” Bett added.

As a result of the demonstrations, Samwel Thombi, the director of the Tea Factory, promised to address the concerns raised by the residents during an indoor meeting following the demonstrations.

“It is good the residents have protested peacefully and what I can say is that we are going to address the issues raised to the latter,” Thombi affirmed.


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