Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has revealed that Embu Governor Cecil Mbarire’s life was in danger after she took on cartels in the coffee industry.
Speaking during a funds drive in Muranga, Gachagua divulged that the governor was trailed by unknown vehicles days after naming powerful companies that were taking advantage of farmers during a coffee reforms meeting in 2023.
The DP added that the government was forced to beef up her security to guarantee her safety.
“This governor once took them on and they began to look for her. I had to beef up her security. They were trailing her with cars because she named them. We must have very courageous leaders,” he stated.
Embu Governor Cecily Mbarire at a conference on June 9, 2023
Embu County Government
According to the DP, the cartels are powerful individuals who control the entire coffee chain.
He added that the group is very influential and that was why President William Ruto entrusted him to handle the reforms in the sector owing to his vast security detail and experience.
“Those fellows have been unfair to our farmers. Nobody would have done these reforms apart from the Presidency. That is why the President directed me to do it. These people are very influential and powerful.
“They corrupt everybody in the whole chain except the Presidency. We also have enough security,” he added.
Nonetheless, he maintained that the government would continue to push on with the reforms until farmers get the value of their work.
In June 2023, Mbarire lamented that powerful companies were making profits at the expense of farmers who were spending millions to farm the commodity which is mostly exported outside the country.
At the meeting, which was chaired by Gachagua, Mbarire alleged that some multinational companies formed subsidiary companies to dominate the industry from milling to export.
“Our coffee sector is predominantly run by three companies. They mill through separate companies and then transform themselves into marketers and buyers.
“If we do not deal with these cartels, we will be wasting two days here. It is about time we face these people on the face and say enough is enough,” she exposed.
Days after Mbarire’s claims, the government revoked the licences of all the companies with the entities required to apply for licences afresh.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua (left) and his wife Pastor Dorcas Rigathi (in red) at a coffee plantation on April 8, 2023