James Finley has suspended two of its bosses and recommended to the police for investigation following an expose by BBC on sexual exploitation in the company’s tea farms and factories.
The British-owned company says it has terminated its agreement with John Chebochok’s company Sislo Holdings and absorbed all 300 contractors who were working through Sislo to ensure their livelihoods are not affected.
John Chebochock and John Asava were secretly filmed preying on women workers at James Finlays Kenya in exchange for employment by BBC investigators. According to the expose, the two bosses infected them with HIV.
“An independent investigation has been launched to fully understand what happened and where we can improve,” said the company.
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“There is no place for behaviour of this kind anywhere in our business. We firmly believe that everyone should feel safe when they come to work at Finlays. 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 whistle-blowing hotline, as well as dedicated welfare and medical staff available on-site – to prevent abuse of any kind,” said the company.
The BBC expose also featured two other tea exporters, Unilever and Lipton Teas and Infusions. The two companies are yet to say anything.