Livestock farmers in Kajiado County are up in arms after a series of livestock theft hit the area.
The raids which are usually conducted in the dead of the night have left most of the farmers devastated as their only source of livelihood is taken from them.
“It is unfortunate that we keep livestock for years, then in one night your whole investment and energy goes into the drain and somebody just renders you poor,” lamented Joseph Ole Tupet who lost an entire 35 dopper flock to a night raid.
“I had kept 35 dopper sheep to improve the quality of my flock but all have been stolen. My children are back in school and I do not know where to get the school fees from as I was planning to sell some of them to get school fees” lamented ole Tupet.
The farmers have said that they believe that the thieves are in cahoots with the police as the sheep are transported using Lorries to areas such as Nyandarua, Limuru and Narok yet they are not nabbed and there are road blocks along the way and curfew in place.
The locals claim that it is unfortunate that the vehicles go all the way from Kajiado to Limuru, Nyandarua and Narok and there is curfew and roadblocks but the police do not nab the stolen livestock, yet they nab charcoal, drunken drivers and game meat.
They pleaded with the Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai and Rift Valley Regional commissioner George Natembeya to enhance security in the area and replace the police officers they suspect of colluding with the thieves.
“I have lost 218 sheep in one night and we caught five people including the chairman of Msafara Sacco which ferries the sheep but when we came in the morning, we are told that the suspect has escaped. How can a suspect escape from the police custody?” quips Peter Koileken, a herder in Kiserian
Oloosidan location Chief Mr. Stephen Tipanko pleaded with the residents to implement the nyumba kumi initiative and know their neighbours as those who are stealing the livestock are within the community.
“You should not hire a person with no National Identification Card to take care of your flock. Know whom you are entrusting your flock with,” said Tipanko.
According to the locals the livestock theft started in 2019 where the thieves steal the entire flock or just select a few and they disappear without a trace.
“We resorted to sleeping in the sheep pens to protect our livestock and the theft cases went down only for it to resurface in December last year.” Says Koileken
The areas mostly affected are Oloosidan, Oloika, Korrompoi, Kisaju, Kiserian and Isinya.
By Diana Meneto