The reason behind ANC Party leader Musalia Mudavadi's Saturday forays into Murang'a to meet Governor Mwangi wa Iria have finally been revealed.
Mudavadi had stated that the reason for meeting the Jubilee governor was in order to discuss 'matters of national importance'.
Kibisu Kabatesi, Mudavadi's PA, who spoke exclusively to Kenyans.co.ke on Saturday, October 12, confirmed that the two leaders had first met at Moi International Airport in Mombasa, where they arranged for a one-on-one meeting.
The agenda, he stated, was to discuss the emotive issue of tea farming, which has put farmers at loggerheads with the government.
Mudavadi, who was the Minister for Agriculture in 1998, made the decision to privatize Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA), a decision that has led to the woes that the farmers are currently facing.
The Murang'a governor had taken to court on Monday, October 7, to sue KTDA on behalf of disgruntled farmers who were complaining that they were being fleeced of their hard-earned cash by the agency.
In the petition, the county government stated that there was an unexplained a 36 per cent drop in tea payments amounting to Ksh2.6 billion, from Ksh11.2 billion in 2018 to Ksh8.9 billion in 2019.
The High Court in Murang’a then ordered the auditor general to conduct an independent audit on tea earnings, bonuses and produce supplied to KTDA in 2018 and 2019.
Kabatesi claimed that the lawsuit had prompted Mudavadi to meet Governor Mwangi so as to clear the air on his decision to privatize the agency in 1998.
Mudavadi, he reported, distanced himself from the rot, claiming that the laws that were in place before privatizing KTDA had not changed. His opinion was that the people at the top had become corrupt and greedy.
"There was the need to privatize KTDA so that the issue of tea farming belonged to farmers, but those who took over KTDA have turned it into a cash cow to benefit themselves," Mudavadi's PA explained.
Kabatesi also made it clear that apart from the tea scandal, ther ANC leader was also keen on a political marriage with the Mt Kenya region to shore up support for his 2022 presidential bid.
"Every time politicians meet, there is always a political agenda. Wa Iria is a central figure in the Mt Kenya political scene. Mudavadi is obviously interested in getting support from central, so the chance meeting might not have been a chance meeting after all," he concluded.
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