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Firm Accused Of Hiring Children

By Silas Nthiga, The Nation (Nairobi), 26 January 2001

Nairobi - The Nyayo Tea Zones Corporation has been accused of hiring school children to work in its tea estates. Manyatta Member of Parliament Peter Njeru Ndwiga yesterday singled out Nyayo Tea Estates in the Mount Kenya forest, where he said child labour was rampant.

Many primary schools along the Nyayo Tea Estates performed dismally in the last year's Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination.

Mr. Ndwiga blamed the poor performance on the rampant child labour in the Nyayo tea farms. He said illegal timber trade in Mount Kenya forest was also to blame for the poor result.

The legislator said some children have been employed by some unscrupulous timber dealers in the forest. He appealed to the local provincial administration to intervene and stop the illegal practices in the forest.

Mr. Ndwiga called for the abolishment of the Nyayo Tea Zone Cooperation, saying it had outlived its usefulness.

The Nyayo farms, he suggested, should be sub-divided among communities neighbouring the forest.

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