Philip Ng'etich was on Tuesday re-elected to the board of Momul Tea Factory, thus retaining his post as the national vice-chairman of the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA).
Mr Ng’etich won another three-year term on the agency board after tea farmers in Seretut, Belgut, elected him unopposed in the ongoing nationwide KTDA elections.
During the election, two directors in Kericho County were voted out by small-scale tea farmers over alleged incompetence.
Samuel Kiplangat Mutai and Dennis Kiprop Langat, who were directors of the Litein Tea Factory in Bureti, were kicked out in a tightly contested election held at various tea-buying centres.
Mr Mutai, who was representing tea farmers in Roret, received 17,459 votes and was defeated by William Langat with a slight margin of 46 votes.
At one point, while waiting for the final results, restless supporters of both Mr Mutai and Mr Langat began celebrating simultaneously. Each side claimed to have won the election and accused the other of trying to rig it.
It had appeared that the two teams that had gathered at the entrance to the Litein Tea Factory could clash, but as soon as the results declaring Mr Langat the winner were released, the opposing team slowly disintegrated, paving the way for the handover of the victory certificate to the winner.
Mr Langat, who represented Cheboror, lost to Livingstone Sigei, who garnered 15,484 against Mr Langat’s 11,225 votes.
Simeon Kipng’etich Serem and Reuben Ng’eny, who are directors of Tegat Tea Factory, warded off competition to retain their seats on the factory board.
Mr Serem, who represents the Ainamoi electoral area on the board, garnered 10,033 votes against his closest challenger Stanley Bore, who managed only 6,538 votes, while Mr Ng’eny, who represents Sosiot, received 21,620 to relegate Joseph Rono, his only competitor, to second place.
NO CHANGES AT KAPKATET
At Kapkatet Tea Factory, there will be no changes this year, after directors Cornelius Mutai and James Kirui were re-elected unopposed as was Cosmas Sang of Momul Tea Factory.
The newly elected officials, who were issued with certificates by KTDA official Julius Onguso, will serve a three-year term before another election is held.
Kenya Union of Small Scale Tea Owners (Kussto) Rift Valley Chairman Joel Chepkwony lauded the tea farmers for holding peaceful polls and urged the new officials to work hard and tackle the problems facing the tea sector.
“I would like to congratulate all those elected and ask them to now focus their energies on dismantling cartels at the Mombasa Tea Auction and ensure that tea farmers in Kenya have an adequate supply of fertilisers to improve crop yield and quality,” said Mr Chepkwony.
In Bomet County, Mogogosiek Tea Factory Chairman Charles Langat was thrown out of office after being beaten by Julius Tuwei.
Mr Langat garnered 11,633 while Mr Tuwei was handed the certificate after getting 21,465 votes to win the election.
Jonathan Cheruiyot came third in the contest with 3,913 votes.