Some schools in Kipkomo Sub County in West Pokot County will miss lunches following theft of relief food supplied by the national government from a store guarded by security officers.
Confirming the incident on Wednesday in Kapenguria, the area Sub County Director of Education, Julius Ngoneshi said after stock taking yesterday, they found that 182 bags of 50kgs of rice were missing.
Ngoneshi said one of the Head teachers called him last week, saying there was some allegations that some of the security officers were selling rice suspected to be for the School Feeding Programme.
“I received a call from one of the head teachers, saying there is an allegation that relief food was being sold in Chepareria market and I immediately informed my Deputy County Commissioner who also mobilised chiefs and their assistants for a search,” he said.
He said with the help of wananchi, they managed to get some information where the food had been kept, adding that after raiding one of the houses, they managed to get 13 bags repackaged in a 100kg bags.
“Last Friday, we managed to get information from a boda boda operator and after visiting that house on Saturday, we found 13 bags of rice in 100kg bags. You know one bag can take three bags. So far we have recovered about 80 bags,” he said.
Talking to KNA, the area Deputy County Commissioner, Michael Wanyonge said seven suspects have been arrested and were expected to record statements, adding that three of the security officers guarding the store were mentioned by the suspect.
He said the DCI has been carrying out the investigation and the officers implicated would be arrested after stock taking and also after all suspects record statements.
“One of the officers has been recalled. The suspects will also assist in identifying the sellers of the relief food and also three of the Administration Police officers have been mentioned. The store is around my office and we don’t suspect a raia to come and steal in a placed well-guarded by armed officers,” said the DCC.
It is alleged that the food was mainly stolen during the Christmas holiday and that a government vehicle was used to ferry the food to the suspects.
By John Saina