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Wa Iria calls for audit of Sh1.3b black bean waiver

Murang’a county governor Mwangi Wa Iria has called for the audit of the Sh1.3 billion coffee waiver which was given out by the government a few years ago.

The governor also wants the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to join hands and establish how the money was spent.

Wa Iria said the money, which was supposed to revive the coffee sector, could have ended up into the pockets of a few people.

“I would like a forensic audit to be conducted in the coffee sector in the county because coffee farmers are still suffering” he said.

He said there is nothing that has been done to revive coffee farming in the area as it would have been expected after the release of the waiver.

Prime property

Late last year Wa Iria blocked the auctioning of a multi-million-shilling building owned by coffee farmers. The governor faulted the move by Murang’a Farmers Cooperative Union to sell out the building which is located in Thika town.

Wa Iria said famers who are shareholders of the cooperative were not consulted when the decision was being made.

He also questioned why the cooperative would sell the building over claims that they want to offset debts yet there was a waiver which was supposed to cater for this.

“Why would the cooperative sell such a building which is at a prime position in Thika town in order to offset debts?” he posed.

Transparency

He also urged the management of the cooperative society to come clean on the debts they are claiming to have incurred despite receiving the waiver.

“What are these debts owed to the farmers that the cooperative claims it wants to clear?” he posed. He vowed not to allow the selling of the building until there is a very convincing reason for it.

The board of management for the cooperative is said to have approved the selling of the building during a special general meeting held last year. The cooperative is among the 27 coffee societies which were given Sh4.8 billion for the coffee waiver back in 2011 as a strategy by the government to help revive the coffee sector which had collapsed about three decades ago.

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