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John Chebochok Demands Kshs 100M From BBC After International Tea Companies End Toror Tea Factory Partnership

Newly elected director of Toror Tea Factory in Ainamoi Electoral area, John Chebochok featured on a BBC expose titled Sex for Work PHOTO: Courtesy

Newly elected Director of Toror Tea Factory, John Chebochok, is demanding a Kshs 100 million defamation settlement from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) following its explosive documentary dubbed ‘Sex for Work: The True Cost of Our Tea.’

The exposé shared online in 2023 showed Chebochok using his position of power to prey on female workers seeking employment at the James Finlay Limited factory in Kericho.

The documentary, which has amassed 2.8 million views on YouTube, has been labelled by Chebochok’s legal team as a deliberate and sensationalized effort to damage his reputation.

Chebochok’s lawyer Danstan Omari claimed that his competitors both in politics and the tea sector orchestrated the allegations from the documentary in a bid to buy out Finlays from the factory.

“Politicians who are against our client’s political bid appeared to have been angered that he implemented mechanization at Finlay and as a result, some of their voters lost jobs and the said competitors fought the said process unsuccessfully,” the demand letter read in part.

Omari also raised concerns about why the documentary was broadcast without his client’s consent or input, and why none of the purported victims shown in the video had filed a complaint with the police or any investigative body.

“The malicious broadcast of your documentary has caused our client significant emotional, psychological and unwarranted distress and stigma. Several entities have since used your documentary to recklessly tarnish our client’s name,” he said.

“They intend to use the contents of the documentary to subvert the will of the people to democratically elect him from amongst a group of other contestants,” Omari noted.

Chebochok through his lawyer demanded a full publication of an apology by the BBC and that the documentary is pulled down from their YouTube channel.

Omari further demanded that the media giant desist from publishing any further defamatory statements or documentaries about Chebochok.

“Take notice that should you fail to make good the demands of our client within the next 3 working days, we have instructions to seek other legal remedies to protect the image of our client, including but not limited to instituting a suit against you at your cost,” Omari added.

The letter was in response to calls by international tea suppliers pushing for Chebochok’s removal as Toror Tea Factory director.

Both Finlays and Lipton Teas and Infusions announced the end of their business relationship with Toror Tea Factory, urging other stakeholders to follow suit until Chebochok is removed as director.

The Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) also urged stakeholders to allow them the opportunity to address the concerns raised by collaborating with relevant authorities to resolve the issues.

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