Residents of Maguguni area in Thika East Sub county of Kiambu are counting losses following increased livestock theft cases in the area since the beginning of the year.
During the period, they have lost more than 100 goats and 15 cows with the latest incident being on Thursday night where thieves made away with four cows and eight goats.
Some have been left maimed, after attempting to fight off the machete-wielding gang, as others become hopeless after losing their only source of living.
They fear that the thieves might be colluding with locals since despite keeping vigil, they have escaped all their traps.
Mary Muthoni, a single mother, lost her four cows on Thursday. She says she has been left hopeless, as she planned to sell cattle to raise school fees for her children and also take care of other family needs.
“The cows had been tethered outside the compound before we went to sleep on Thursday night and the following day, they were nowhere to be seen. I searched around, unsuccessfully. I’m now deflated,” she said.
Muiruri Kigera, recalls how he almost lost his hand fighting off the thugs from stealing his livestock early this year.
“After I heard some commotion in my compound at night, I came out only to find machete wielding gang making way with my goats. I fought them off but they cut my left hand leaving it with a deep cut. I lost consciousness and they left with my livestock,” he said.
They accused security officers of laxity saying despite reporting the incidences, no suspect has been arrested.
The residents have now heightened security, with others forced to lock their livestock in their main houses with padlocks to secure them from the thieves.
“All men in the area have been conducting patrols and laying traps for the thieves. We know the thieves have a good market due to the soaring livestock process, but soon we shall catch up with them,” said Kirega.
by Muoki Charles