Former Karuturi Workers fault Appeal Court Judges For Intensifying Their Woes

By Soko Directory Team / Published January 28, 2019 | 8:32 am





Over 2500 ex-workers of the now-defunct Karuturi flower farm in Naivasha have vowed to avert any attempt by Stanbic Bank to auction the firm’s assets until they receive a clear proposal on how their dues will be paid.

Speaking during a ceremony, held in the company’s premises in Naivasha, the workers’ representative Mr. Samson Auda faulted the judges for not considering a worker’s union affidavit filed in support of the case.

Judges William Ouko, Stephen Gatembu Kairu and Daniel Musinga on Friday 25th January 2019 dismissed, with cost, an appeal case where Karuturi owners were challenging a decision made by the High Court on 19th January 2018 allowing CFC Stanbic to auction Karuturi assets if the owners failed to clear a controversial Sh1.8 billion debt.

“We want to tell CFC Stanbic and its receivers to tread carefully. Throughout this case, CFC has exhibited a very high level of greed and a clear lack of empathy to workers’ plight. Since 2014 when they took over this farm, they have never paid anyone and this seems to be none of their worries. We are warning them against stepping onto this farm or sending any of their associates until they present to us a proposal on how our Sh220million dues will be settled,” said Mr. Samson Auda.

Mr. Auda added that the livelihoods of 25,000 people, who have made Naivasha their homestand aggrieved and disappointed with the lack of sensitivity to their rights and plights by the judiciary’s recent ruling.

“In Feb 2014 Stanbic misled us into filing an affidavit in court to support receivership, by promising to protect our jobs and benefits accrued. Today they’ve turned back, denied us employment since March 2016, claiming that under receivership, the benefits stand annulled and to add salt to the wounds, seeking to evict us from company’s accommodation. This in addition to shutting down the 100 bed company run hospital and denying all support to the company owned schools,” he added.

The workers’ union affidavit, Mr. Auda said detailed the wrongdoings of the receivership, which has laid to waste the once prosperous township with state of the art Health care, housing, education, and the once famous Karuturi premier league football team.

“We are taking over the farm and will continue tilling the land to recover our lost livelihood and benefits,” he added.

In March 2018, Singapore-based Phoenix Group announced it was investing an undisclosed amount to help repay debt and revive Karuturi operations in Kenya and it awaits to be seen if the company will be doing so following the conclusion of the appeal case. Prior to the debt owes, Karuturi was a leader in the local flower farm industry producing about 33 million roses annually for export to Europe accounting for about 10 percent of Kenya’s exports of cut flowers.




About Soko Directory Team

Soko Directory is a Financial and Markets digital portal that tracks brands, listed firms on the NSE, SMEs and trend setters in the markets eco-system.Find us on Facebook: facebook.com/SokoDirectory and on Twitter: twitter.com/SokoDirectory

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