Casual laborers on a farm linked to Deputy President William Ruto in Mata village, Taita Taveta County, went on strike to protest non-payment of their wages, paralyzing operations.
Workers staged a protest at the Kisima farm’s gate on Monday, claiming they had not received their wages in the last six weeks.
According to the Nation, the workers claimed the farm managers had been selling empty promises.
A Mr Alex Saidi told the daily that the workers had not been duly informed about the non-payment hence their frustrations.
“We see that business is going on well and the company is not facing any financial crisis. We will not return to work until our salaries are paid,” he said.
Another employee, Fred Mashauri, complained about the inadequate salary. He claimed that despite working on the farm for five years, he had not yet been hired on as a permanent employee.
Workers’ daily wages, he claimed, range from Sh300 to Sh500.
“I have been a casual worker all those years but there are no hopes of being employed permanently. The management is non-committal on this matter,” he said.
He also complained about manager Arie Dempers’ alleged cruel treatment.
Workers have attempted in vain to convince the company to pay them on time, according to Mr Mashauri, who added that the boss routinely broke his half of the bargain.
“He tells us that if we don’t want to work we should leave. He is very hostile to the workers,” he claimed.
Mr Dempers was arrested by police in 2019 after storming a mosque brandishing a firearm.
The next year, he was accused of diverting water intended for public use to the farm, denying a valuable resource to the surrounding community.