As the government gears up to revive the cashew factory in Kilifi town, thousands of former workers of the factory have staged demonstrations, urging intervention to secure their pensions and dues that have been pending since the closure of the facility.

The workers camped outside the company’s gates, hopeful that one day they will receive their rightful entitlements.

Despite pursuing legal channels to claim their millions in unpaid dues, the case has stalled in court, with the main defendant remaining elusive.

Led by the secretary of the cashew workers’ union, Mr. Douglas Katana, the elderly protesters appealed to the government to intervene and ensure they receive their dues.

Mr. Katana, 74, the sole surviving leader among those who embarked on the journey to fight for their rights, expressed concerns that many of their colleagues have already passed away.

“My comrades have already passed on, and if I die today, these funds will vanish, and I do not want that to happen. I hope the money will be released soon because both the elderly workers and their families deserve to benefit from their hard work,” said Mr. Katana.

Hilda Mzungu, who lives with a disability in Kilifi town, urged the government to pay their dues before reviving the cashew processing plant in the area.

Ms. Mzungu recounted being employed at the cashew processing plant at the age of 19 and working there until its closure.

“We were laid off suddenly and were only given Sh100, which was a fraction of our salaries, and since then, we have been suffering. Despite my disability, I have to work in construction, carrying stones and cement. The government should not reopen the factory without giving us our money,” stated Ms. Mzungu.

Another elderly man, Mr. Katana Kazungu, expressed his frustration with the mistreatment they faced, which he said brought many challenges in his life.

He recounted how the workers were dismissed immediately after being paid their salaries.

Lawyer Dennis Kinaro wrote to the Attorney General urging intervention to ensure the workers are paid their dues.

According to lawyer Kinaro, it has been challenging for the workers to receive their payments, alleging that senior officials who took over the company’s management refused to engage with him to seek a resolution.