The High Court has upheld the six-month suspension of Ndima Tea Factory Director John Muthamo on disciplinary grounds.
Muthamo, popularly known as “Wa-Susana,” was locked on August 19, last year, through a resolution by his six co-directors for alleged breach of the firm’s Code of Conduct. The decision was formally communicated to him on August 23, last year.
Justice Joseph Sergon threw out assertions by the aggrieved director that his colleagues did not have the legal authority to make the resolution, which he claimed was engineered by the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA). He had protested the decision was baseless, malicious and high-handed.
Muthamo was seeking an injunction to block his suspension on the basis that the farmers he represents would be adversely affected by his removal by his co-directors Peter Muchoki, Osbert Mwangi, Mathew Kabue, Nicholas Muriithi, Peterson Waweru and Esther Wanjiru. He claimed his right to exercise popular mandate by tea farmers and enjoyment of his privileges had been violated.
However, Justice Sergon said the directors could not be held personally liable for the board’s unanimous resolution. Further, KTDA was an appointed managing agent of Ndima Tea Factory and was legally protected against any punishment regarding disciplinary taken against Muthamo.
“There is no doubt that ndima Tea Factory is not a party to this suit. The resolution passed by the six directors is clearly stated to be a resolution of its board of directors. The case against them in the absence of the company is untenable,” Justice Sergon said in his ruling.