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“Ghost” of tea bonus returns to haunt women in Meru County

Married women from Meru’s tea growing zone, which got the highest bonus in the country, have raised fears that their families may not benefit from the payout.

The women lamented that the entrenched culture of men disappearing to nearby Nkubu town for drinking sprees with other women, who flock the area whenever tea bonuses are declared, is yet to end.

Tea farmers in Imenti South, Meru County are set to enjoy the highest tea bonus of Sh38.50 in the country.

Mrs Alice Kirimi, a mother of two, said many men vacate their homes after getting hold of the bonus money.

VIOLENT BEHAVIOUR

“They use the money to enjoy themselves with young ladies who come as far as Machakos County only to return back home when the money is finished,” Mrs Kirimi said.

Mrs Kirimi further said most of the men resort to violent behaviour at home so as not to be asked how they spent the bonus.

“It is very unfortunate for married men to waste the whole bonus by indulging themselves in luxury at the expense of their families,” Mr Gerald Guantai, another tea farmer from the same area said.

Mr Guantai, who is also into dairy and horticultural farming, urged women to stop the dependence on tea production and instead venture into other types of farming.