Naivasha's Karuturi flower farm
Anxiety grips long-suffering workers as Karuturi farm assets advertised for sale
By GEORGE MURAGE
More than 3,000 former workers of the troubled Karuturi flower farm were surprised to learn of the sale of the firm's after property in the media.
The workers have been met by the new surprise a month after the Indian owner announced plans to settle all arrears and bring the company back to life.
In a paid advertisement in the local dailies, the company’s joint receiver managers announced plans to sell all assets belonging to Karuturi flower farm although no reason was given.
The move is a big blow to the workers who have been camping at the premises demanding their dues after the company closed shop two years ago.
In the advert, the managers detail the items for sale but also indicate that the close to 125 hectares where the company sits will not be sold.
“The joint receiver managers of Karuturi Limited offer for sale all assets of the company situated along Moi south lake road in Naivasha”, reads the notice in part.
Some of the items put for sale include all the green house support structures and irrigation machines covering the whole area that previously occupied rose plantations.
Others are fumigation machines, pumps and assorted equipments worth millions of shillings that were being used during the company’s hey days.
While it was not in the open the key reason for the latest move the Kenya Plantations and Agriculture Workers Union (KPAWU) raised an alarm over the fate of the workers.
The Union Branch Secretary in Naivasha Ferdinand Juma said they were in darkness over the move adding that they were keen to make sure that the workers received their benefits.
He said they were concerned over the plight of workers who have been living in deplorable conditions ever since they were laid off after the company went under.
“They were promised all will be well and were to be paid they dues and savings but we do not know what happens next,” he said. Juma said last month the Indian owner Ram Karuturi visited the area and assured the workers he was doing everything possible to get back his farm and start operations.
“He attended a meeting with the workers and expressed confidence that the steps he was taking were geared towards the revival of the farm but now it seems everything is beyond him now”, he said on phone.