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8 Jul 2024

Nation Media Group, Nairobi

Kenya: Activists oppose nomination of alleged sexual harassment offender as director of KTDA

Six human rights lobbies have moved to court seeking to block confirmation of John Kipkoech Chebochok as Kenya Tea Factory Development Agency zonal director for Tegat/Toror Tea Factory in Kericho County.

Mr. Chebochok was elected on June 28, 2024 as director for Ainamoi zonezone but his win kicked up storm following claims of sexual exploitation of workers at a multinational tea company in an expose by the BCC.

The petitioners under the Umbrella of Coalition Organizations Working on Sexual Violence in Kenya and Crusaders for Human Rights and Public Interest Cases, argue that Mr. Chebochok’s conduct, as portrayed in the documentary, disqualifies him from holding public office in Kenya.

The case comes ahead of July 18, 2024 annual general meeting of shareholders of Tegat/Toror Tea Factory, who will either adopt or reject the election of directors, including Mr. Chebochok.

The petition has been filed against Mr. Chebochok, Tegat Tea Factory Limited, Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) Tea Board of Kenya and Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC)

The petition stated that the BCC documentary exposed Mr. Chebochok abusing his power and office by sexually exploiting women who worked and sought job opportunities at James Finlays Kenya.

“This gross misconduct not only tarnishes the reputation of the tea industry but also inflicts severe harm on the victims, whose wounds remain unhealed, and their cries for justice need to be heard and redressed.”