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Coffee Farmers Protest Over Delayed Payments.

Gatundu DCC Stephen Kihara and MP Moses Kuria listen to farmers' grievances by one of Kinaratia Coop. Society Member
More than 1,500 famers from Kimaratia Coffee Cooperative Society in Gatundu South on Monday stormed the home of the society’s Vice Chairman protesting over delayed payment of coffee delivered between May last year and July this year. This is following a meeting convened by Kiganjo MCA Samuel Mwarage delaying for more than four hours.

The county legislator and other local leaders had called the meeting to address the mismanagement in the society and payments following claims that only 20% of the famers were paid on Friday.  The angry farmers stormed the home of Kimani Gichuru where they threatened to destroy property after he and his family escaped. However, some quick intervention by the police saved the home from destruction.

The farmers, hailing from three coffee factories; namely Gichuka , Gitare and Gachika and who solely depended on coffee farming, said that they could neither meet their daily needs nor afford to pay school fees for their children even after delivering coffee to the  Society.

Calm was later restored after Gatundu MP. Moses Kuria and Deputy County Commissioner Stephen Kihara drove to Kiamatia Society offices and addressed the farmers.

Kuria promised to follow up the matter and told those farmers with secondary school children to submit a list of their fees dues which he promised to secure as the payment for their coffee produce was being pursued. 

He blamed the management of hiding behind the new coffee rules set by the task force appointed by the president to address problems affecting the coffee sector to frustrate farmers.

On their part, the farmers accused the management of borrowing money from millers and using it for their personal needs as farmers continued to wallow in poverty.

Kuria called on the farmers to give him one week and promised to come with a way forward. The MP was wildly cheered when ordered Gatundu OCPD to arrest the chairman Francis Muigai and one of the directors who were present at the meeting.

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