The Kenyan National Assembly Tuesday night passed the much-awaited Tea Bill which will see the revival of the Tea Board of Kenya and adoption of new regulations to govern the cartel-soaked sector.

Debate on the Bill, which passed the Second Reading Tuesday, was concluded at 11pm and will have to now go through the Third Reading where it is only scrutinised for clarity.

The Tea Bill, sponsored at the Senate by Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot, was at the National Assembly for the final passing.

“We really thank God for the journey so far. This is huge,” wrote the Senator last night.

If the Bill is signed into law, tea brokers, buyers and auction organisers will have to ensure that the proceeds from the sale of tea is paid within 14 days and the factory will now pay 50 per cent of receipt of the sales to the farmers.

This will mean that Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA), which has been holding a huge chunk of the proceeds for a year, will no longer have access to the tea billions since the money will now be controlled at the factory level. The balance of the money will be paid at the end of the financial year.

With the passing of the Bill, the National Assembly will now compile a report and send it to the Senate for approval and concurrence.  If there are disagreements, the Speakers will appoint a mediation committee which will report to both Houses and the Bill will then be sent to the President for signing.