Butchery owners in Athiriver put on notice to explain source of meat

By , K24 Digital
On Sat, 21 Aug, 2021 17:27 | 2 mins read
A photo file of displayed chunks of meat; PHOTO/COURTESY

Butchery owners selling meat in Athi River Sub County, Machakos County will be required to reveal their sources of meat.

According to Athiriver Sub County Security Committee is that stock theft has been on the rise and the security committee has approved that no meat will be sold without knowing its source of origin.

Speaking after a security meeting at the DCC Athiriver Sub County Headquarters, the security committee chairman, and Athiriver Deputy County Commissioner Charles Wambugu, said nearly 100 livestock are stolen each month from the area since January 2021.

“Since January to this month, we have witnessed unusual increase in cases of stock theft, around Athiriver with more than 700 livestock stolen, and we have come up with strategies to curtail the problem,” the DCC said.

The Sub County Security Chairman said the Department of Criminal Investigations, Athiriver DCI will scrutinize the source of all animals traded in the area, to unearth where they come from and details of their farmers.

Wambugu said the security committee had profiled all residents owning livestock in Athiriver, all businessmen owning or selling livestock and those selling meat to create a database that will often be scrutinized by the DCI.

“We have realized that cases of stock theft has been prompted by traders who want to buy stolen animals for slaughter,” Wambugu said.

The committee learned that most livestock are sold in Kitengela, Kamulu and Nairobi slaughters houses and butcheries while other animals are taken across the borders by the livestock thieves.

Wambugu further said due to the consorted efforts that his security team, together with the public has laid, nearly 400 animals has been recovered, and 12 suspects arrested and arraigned in Athiriver Law court in connection with stock theft.

According to Wambugu 40 names have been forwarded to the DCI for probing, after residents suspected them to liaise with livestock thieves to steal their livestock.

“For the last two weeks we have conducted public barazas and more than 40 names of suspected criminals who often connive with farmworkers and butchery owners to steal their livestock, the DCI is working on those names, and we shall profile them and allowed to record statements as we check their backgrounds and daily activities,” he said.

The committee has urged home and livestock owners to get background information of all watchmen before they employ them in their farms to avert burglary incidences in the area.

“We have found most of the cases involve insiders, employees engaged by family owners and livestock owners to guard their families or animals, where most of the background information of the workers is scanty or not known,” Wambugu said.

The DCC said it has been challenging for the DCI to nab back or trace stolen livestock because of the tight details of farm labours.

“The committee is advising Athiriver residents owning livestock to desist from engaging foreigners because when the foreigners are involved in cases of stock theft, it’s difficult to apprehend them,” Wambugu warned.

They advised residents to embrace community policing in sharing of information and also clinch into reporting cases of robbery as they happen to help in easy tracing by the security department.

Few weeks ago a stock theft suspect was killed by public and his accomplice escaped around Kyumbi Area, Mavoko constituency and after investigations, he was identified to be a resident of neighbouring county Tanzania.