DPP Haji directs IG Koome to probe sexual abuse on Kenyan tea farms – Capital Business
Nairobi, Kenya, Feb 22-The Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has directed the Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome to open investigations into the allegations of sexual exploitations in two tea plantations in Kericho county.
The directive comes following the revelation from BBC expose detailing how female employees of Unilever and James Finlay & Co tea plantations, allege to have been subjected to sexual exploitation and abuse by the Supervisors and Managers of the tea firms.
The DPP asked the IG to present the investigation file to the Office within seven days.
“Accordingly, pursuant to Article 157 (4) of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010, you are hereby directed to undertake comprehensive investigations into the allegations of rape, sexual assault, compelled or indecent acts, sexual harassment and deliberate transmission of HIV or any other life threatening sexually transmitted disease, as highlighted by the BBC Africa Eye Documentary,” Haji said Wednesday.
According to Haji, the allegations against the suspects are contrary to Sections 4, 5, 6, 23(1), and 26 of the Sexual Offences Act, as well as, Section 6(1) of the Kenya Employment Act.
Haji’s directive comes even after the Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union (KPAWU) affiliated to Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) demanded that the James Finlay and Unilever tea companies cease using contractors to outsource labor in the country.
KPAWU instead wants the tea firms to offer direct employment to all contracted employees.
Francis Atwoli, Secretary General of KPAWU and COTU said that the revelations by the BBC has exposed the dangers of outsourced labour bearing in mind the two companies opted to use the estate managers to outsource labour.
“Outsourcing of Labour affects the rights and welfare of workers considering they work at the mercy of contracted companies and not the parent company,” Atwoli said
KPAWU further demanded that James Finlay and Unilever bring to an end tactics that discourage workers from joining union for better representation and advocacy.