NewsLSK Demands Immediate Resignation of John Chebochok as KTDA...

LSK Demands Immediate Resignation of John Chebochok as KTDA Director

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Law Society of Kenya (LSK) President Faith Odhiambo addressing the press.

The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) on Wednesday called for the immediate resignation of John Chebochok as a  Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA)  Director arguing that allowing him to continue holding the position would be tantamount to absconding responsibility.

In a statement signed by its President Faith Odhiambo, the Society faulted the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for clearing him to run despite what many perceive as him having a  questionable background.  

The Society particularly questioned the vetting process done by the IEBC, which allowed Chebochok to be cleared to make a stab at the position despite the string of allegations made against him.

Chebochok’s election as director of the Toror Tea Factory sparked a significant public outcry, mostly from women who stressed the importance of the need to safeguard women’s rights within the tea industry.

The Director was allegedly implicated in a sex scandal, in an expose done by the BBC in February 2023. The documentary exposed egregious sexual exploitation practices within the tea industry.

“The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) is appalled by the recent election of Mr. John Chebochok as a director of the Toror Tea Factory, managed by the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA),” read part of a statement released by the LSK.

Farmers Building along Moi Avenue in Nairobi that houses KTDA headquarters.

Farmers Building along Moi Avenue in Nairobi that houses KTDA headquarters.

“It is imperative that candidates for leadership positions, especially in industries with a history of gender-based violence, undergo thorough background checks to ensure they are of unblemished character.”

The society called on IEBC  to execute its mandate as enshrined in the constitution after the commission issued a statement outlining that it did not have any reasonable grounds to block Chebochok from running.

“The simplistic and laissez-faire approach taken by the 1EBC that resulted in the clearance of Mr. Chebochok is therefore constitutionally untenable as it ignores and promotes an affront to the principles of leadership and integrity under Article 73.”

LSK argued that the election of Chebochok undermines efforts to combat sexual and gender-based violence within the tea sector.

The statement signed by LSK President Faith Odhiambo further added that the recent developments send a troubling message that individuals with allegations of sexual misconduct can still attain positions of power, thereby potentially perpetuating a culture of impunity and fear among women workers.

“Allowing Mr. Chebochok to assume a leadership role not only jeopardizes the welfare of female workers but also tarnishes the reputation of the Kenyan tea industry on the global stage.”

The Society proceeded to list several demands besides Chebochok’s resignation.

LSK urged IEBC to review its vetting procedures to conform with the express provisions of Chapter 6 of the Constitution to prevent individuals with questionable backgrounds from contesting for leadership positions in the future.

Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) was also urged to implement robust policies and mechanisms to ensure the safety and protection of all workers from sexual harassment and exploitation.

LSK further advised all KTDA stakeholders to be transparent on the steps taken to address related concerns.

LSK President Faith Odhiambo in a meeting with the Speaker of the National Assembly on April 24, 2024

LSK President Faith Odhiambo in a meeting with the Speaker of the National Assembly on April 24, 2024
Photo
LSK

Source: kENYANS.CO.KE

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