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Tea producer and exporter James Finlays Kenya has suspended two managers who were exposed for sexually exploiting female workers at the company’s tea estate in Kericho.
On Tuesday, the company announced it has terminated its contract with John Chebochok’s company Sislo Holdings and absorbed all 300 workers who were employed through it to ensure their livelihoods are not affected.
Chebochok and a second manager at the tea estate John Asava were secretly filmed preying on women workers at James Finlays Kenya in exchange for employment.
The women narrated their woes on BBC’s Africa Eye, revealing how they were infected with HIV by the two individuals after giving in to their sex demands to get employed or retain their jobs.
“There is no place for behavior of this kind anywhere in our business. We firmly believe that everyone should feel safe when they come to work at Finlays,” Finlays said in a media release.
“That is why we have robust policies and procedures in place – such as comprehensive guidance to staff, detailed and continuous training programmes, an anonymous third-party whistleblowing hotline, as well as dedicated welfare and medical staff available on site – to prevent abuse of any kind,” it added.
In addition, the company said it has reported the matter to Kenyan authorities and commenced an internal investigation aimed at finding the truth about the expose.
“We reported the BBC allegations against John Chebochok and John Asava to the Kenyan Police. We will continue to work closely with the police, sharing any additional information that results from investigations. An independent investigation has been launched to fully understand what happened and where we can improve,” the statement added.
Finlays noted that its probe will examine the specific cases of exploitation raised within the programme and where they can improve their approach to preventing and addressing any sexual violence, abuse, or harassment across the firm.
The BBC expose also featured two other tea growers and exporters—Unilever and Lipton Teas and Infusions where female casual laborers were forced to sleep with the supervisors to be absorbed into the workforce.
I watched the clip in its entirety,and I was speechless.Unfortunately as shocking as this investigation was,think of how many incidences are not investigated.This reminds me of SEX for grades investigative report,Ithink it was by BBC Eye as well.This one also exposes BOSSES who take adantage of vulnerable girls for sex in exchange for a good grade,in african higher institutions of learning.Infact there has always existed rumour of girls sleeping with professors in our universities for good grades.So no mystery there.The question is,how do we stop this vice?It appears that sexual harassement policies are heavily ignored ,if the clip is anything to go by.Should we encourage these women to take the laws into their hands? Castrate the men themselves?
The good news is that most male bosses carry themselves professionally,and abide by rules and policies.It is those who think with their small heads that we have to find a solution to deal with.It is a societal problem.Collectives,we can get rid of it,or at least put it at the very minimal level of 'tolerance'. I would love to say zero level,but that would only be wishful thinking.First we have to start with taking zero tolerance very seriously.
I hear the DCI director ,Haji has opened up an investigation-10 years too late.But if the perpetrators can be put in jail,and the victims well compensated for their suffering,that would be a small measure of justice.
So wht if the guys are -ve? These 2 guys could sue finlays, BBC and the 2 "victims". A lot of colonized minds still bow down to BBC with their racist reporting on africa.
Hire some good lawyers and hit em hard.
British forcefully murdered, maimed and evicted owners of these lands. Now they are overseeing continuation of atrocities. May justice prevail
Well done Finlays.Iam sure these two criminal managers were safe in the knowledge that they are BOSSES,and thus beyond reproach.It's so unfortunate that in these ERA of MEtoo# woke, some people are slow to learn.
As a general rule, it's a NO NO to engange in hackypanky with an employee.Stay away from that.
@ Comrade Kora Kanini, here is a nother classic example of Men using their small heads with caterstrophic results.Well,if they are Mwakilishi readers, they cannot say that they did not see it coming.I now hope that women at Finlays can breath freely.