NEWS & EVENTS
Kenya’s tea sector contributes to about 7% of the East African nation GDP and 26% of the country’s foreign exchange.
Kenya is also the third largest tea producing country in the world and the leading exporter of black tea which fetches the highest market fees in the global markets.
This cess was first introduced in 2014 but was challenged in the Kenyan courts in 2015 upon a successful court case against it.But later the courts ruled in favor of the coastal county government giving them the green light to collect cess on transit trucks going through the county.
Tea growing areas in Kenya are Kericho, Bomet, Nandi, Kiambu, Thika, Maragua, Murang’a, Sotik, Kisii, Nyamira, Nyambene, Meru, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Embu, Kakamega, Nakuru and Trans-Nzoia which are dominated by the Jubilee party.
This has sparked a sharp reaction from tea producing counties that have a strong support for the governing party,jubilee, and think that it might be a politically motivated agenda.
“We believe that this cess should not be levied at the port as it will lead to double taxation across various counties to the detriment of the tea value chain,” said Paul Chepkwony, the Kericho governor.
Bomet Governor Joyce Laboso said, “We believe this cess should not be levied at the port. This move will lead to double taxation across counties to the detriment of the tea value chain. As governors form tea-growing regions, we would like to affirm our commitment to the farmers.” The tea body in Kenya is against the move saying it is against the national interest and interest of farmers as it will increase the sales price while lowering profits to farmers.
The county government sent out a circular to tea stake holders informing them of the charges of Kshs 32 per packet .
Local politics affects all citizens of a country, and tea farmers are set to loose millions in revenue if the cess is implemented.