Long-serving KTDA Holdings Chief Executive Officer, Mr Samuel Lerionka Tiampati, quit the company on 9th September, 2021, after leading the organisation for six years. A statement from KTDA said Mr Tiampati “applied for an early exit before the expiry of his contract” which was approved by the board.
Prior to his exit, Mr Tiampati was on compulsory leave and his position had been filled by Mr Wilson Muthaura in an acting capacity. His exit follows reforms instituted by Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya that culminated in the setting up of a new board, which sent the CEO and five other top officials on compulsory leave in June last year, to pave way for investigations.
It is not clear why the board decided to let him go before the investigations report has been tabled. In cases where there are early signs of damning indictment, a CEO can be asked to leave to earlier to save face.
Mr Tiampati joined KTDA as the Managing Director in 2004 from Kenya Tea Packers Limited (KETEPA) where he served as the CEO of the tea packing subsidiary company which is majority-owned by KTDA.
At the beginning of last year, the Head of State called for the restructuring of KTDA to address the low tea prices, delayed payments and fluctuations in net income for tea farmers. “It is clear the governance of KTDA and entire marketing of tea will require to be restructured if we are to ensure our tea farmers get more revenue from their tea sales,” said President Kenyatta.
He said rather than farmers earning about Ksh91 per kilo of tea, they were earning Sh41, with Kshh50 shillings per kilo going to brokers and middlemen. During its first meeting, the board decided that Tiampati and five senior managers would have to vacate their positions to pave way for investigations on various allegations including abuse of office.
The five managers included company secretary John Omanga, managing director Alfred Njagi, finance and strategy director Benson Ngari and ICT general manager David Mbugua.
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