Chaos brewing: UK tea growers in Kenya face ‘Zim-style’ grabs

World

Chaos brewing: UK tea growers in Kenya face ‘Zim-style’ grabs

Governor warns there will be land seizure unless the Crown pays billions for colonial-era forced evictions

Adrian Blomfield

It seemed like a sensible way out of a spot of local bother. With a querulous clan of local mystics threatening the social order of Kenya’s tea country back in the 1930s, the colony’s British overlords thought they had hit on the obvious solution: deport the lot of them.

Decades after the end of empire, that decision is now threatening to unleash Britain’s gravest tea-related crisis since a group of American bootleggers tipped chests of the stuff into Boston Harbour in 1773.

The forced eviction of the Talai people in 1934 lies at the heart of a dispute over colonial-era land grievances that could lead to severe tea shortages in Britain if a powerful regional politician in western Kenya gets his way...

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