Attacks in Kerio Valley for cattle linked to meat supplies’ syndicate in Nairobi

By The Weekly Vision Investigative desk

The recent deadly attacks by bandits in the vast Kerio valley which left 5 people dead and hundreds of animals stolen are said to be part of a well-organized syndicate, investigations have revealed.

Insecurity-prone Kerio valley has witnessed wave after wave of gang attacks over recent years. People including women and children have been killed as hundreds of animals are driven away. Bandits have kept striking with deadly precision for cows that they later sell to a meat syndicate.

The Weekly Vision investigative desk established further that the ringleaders of the cattle rustlers are wild game poachers driven out of “business” by Kenya Wildlife Service firepower. The wild game poachers described as skilled and brutal, have found a fertile “career” in the vast Kerio valley where death and destruction have become a daily nightmare for locals.

Residents claim even policemen appear cowed by the bandits’ big guns and firepower

The bandits are usually armed to the teeth and have kept fighting off the police as they run away with stolen cattle. ‘Some of them even hang on the cows for cover, yet can shoot” terrified residents told us.

They said bandits are “sharpshooters” making many wonders who else they could have trained from if not the disciplined forces, the police and the army? Residents claim even policemen appear cowed by the bandits’ firepower.

Early this year the same poachers are alleged to have wiped out a whole truckload of policemen on patrol in Baragoi, Baringo and later stole guns and uniforms. In this same area earlier back, up to 50 policemen were wiped out in an ambush staged by the bandits who had misled police through their ‘moles’ into a bloodbath.

The current situation in the Kerio valley is nothing new in the area, and residents are faulting security agencies for failing to stop the attacks leaving bandits to even kill children in schools. Residents told us that police always fail to act in time even when tipped off about an impending attack.

They said attackers are part of a well-organised syndicate that takes stolen cattle to slaughterhouses in Nakuru and Naivasha before ferrying the meat to several butchers and hotels in Nairobi. Due to corruption and gross in-efficiency by government agencies, many city residents are eating un-inspected stolen cattle beef.

Our investigations revealed that many of Nairobi’s restaurants prefer to buy the beef cheaply from brokers who deliver on order through the “back-door. Residents want the government to revive the construction of the stalled Kimorror and Arroware dam projects. They say this will create jobs for youth being misled into cattle rustling by “heartless” poachers and crooked policemen. The Marakwets who have borne the grunt of attacks have accused most of their leaders of “abandoning” them to fate.

They said their leaders have resorted to issuing “chest-thumping” statements hundreds of kilometres away in Nairobi while they are killed and lose cattle. Residents took issue with Elgeyo Marakwet senator Kipchumba Murkomen for failing to raise insecurity concerns in the senate and obsessing on the 2022 elections still one year away.

Residents also told off police boss Inspector Hillary Matumbayi for remaining “glued to TV PR” stunts while people are killed and cows were stolen. The police boss is yet to make any comment on the worsening security situation in Kerio valley.

Security minister Mataingi remains coldly aloof while Matumbayi prefers to be an “armchair” police commander! Many wonder why not a single cattle rustler has been charged and convicted in any court.

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