Close

11 STOLEN

Elderly farmer loses hybrid cows worth Sh2.2 million

Nyandarua county commissioner says police have crucial leads and are pursuing the criminals.

In Summary

• Nganda accused the police of not doing enough to recover his stolen animals.

• The lorry which carried the stolen animals was driven towards Nakuru with an escort car following closely.

Mzee David Nganda at his home on Thursday
Mzee David Nganda at his home on Thursday
Image: Ndichu Wainaina

Mzee David Nganda paces through his compound with an empty milk pail in his hand. Two empty milk cylinders stand in the compound; he takes one by the handle, still in disbelief.

“I came here in 1964 and since then I have practised dairy farming. But now they have destroyed me. At my age, they have killed me,” he says.

The 78-year-old farmer from Upper Gilgil village in Tumaini, Nyandarua county, is the latest victim of livestock stealing cartels plundering Nyandarua dairy farmers. His 11 hybrid Friesian dairy cows were stolen on Thursday morning.

Nganda said he incurred a loss amounting to Sh2.2 million, given that each cow was worth Sh200, 000.

He sells his cows to customers from as far as Murang’a and Samburu counties.

Every day, he would sell 200 litres of milk during dry period and 400 litres during the rainy season, “but now I don’t have even a drop for my own consumption, “he said.

He accused the law enforcement agencies of not doing enough to save his life-long investment given that they were informed the moment the criminals struck.

He said a neighbour who got suspicious after hearing the sound of the lorry and the escort vehicle said to be a Probox model.

He called the area chief, Elijah Nding’uri, but the officers who “responded came here to tell us to count the remaining five cows instead of pursuing the thieves. The delay gave the thieves a chance to escape," he said.

 Chief Nding’uri said unfortunately the police did not find the lorry or the escort car.

 

“I received the call at 3:28am and called my bosses by 3:30am. The entire security was activated. My Tumaini team did not have vehicles and they looked for boda bodas to rush to the scene to safe guard the remaining five cows. The officers from Mirangine drove towards Ndonduri as all indicators were that the lorry drove towards Nakuru, as somebody who spotted the escort car said it drove towards the direction," he said.

Nyandarua county commissioner, Boaz Cherutich directed immediate investigation into the incident. He said no recovery has been made so far but expressed optimism saying police have crucial leads.

“Police have received some crucial information which they are now pursuing. They will be recovered. Let us wait for the outcome of the investigations," he said.

He advised the farmers to secure their livestock saying that Nganda had kept his cows 400 metres away from his homestead with no one to watch them.

“If the farmers bring their cows close to the homestead and put security lights their animals will be safe. All the reported theft cases is where farmers neglect their cows," he said.

Nganda said it is unthinkable that cows stolen from Nyandarua pass road blocks, which are manned by armed police.

He said veterinary officers who issue transport permits should always establish the source of every animal by physically meeting or contacting the owner.

“Unfortunately they sometimes issue permits without establishing if there are cows to be transported in the first place, and without inspecting the animals, “he said.