BEING SOLD TO PUBLIC

Cops seize 2,500kg relief rice being repackaged

Residents say officials, chiefs may have colluded to steal, sell relief food meant for drought-stricken residents

In Summary

• Detectives seized 2,500kg stolen relief rice being repackaged at Kaithe market. Another 50 empty bags also recovered.

• One arrest made.

 

Police in North Imenti are trying to unravel alleged involvement of government officers collaborating with Meru traders to sell relief food.

Detectives led by North Imenti DCIO James Githinji re-possessed 2,500kg stolen relief rice being repackaged at Kaithe market. Another 50 empty bags were recovered.

A man was arrested and is expected to help in the investigation, police said.

We found the rice where it was being sold to the public without their knowledge.
North Imenti DCIO James Githinji

“We found the store packed with GoK labelled 50kg bags and another 50 empty bags. Relief food is not meant to be sold. It's meant to be given to people in need ree of charge.

"We found the rice where it was being sold to the public without their knowledge,” Githinji said during the seizure.

Residents accused the proprietor, who will not be named as he is yet to be arraigned, of being inhumane, selling the relief rice meant for hunger-stricken residents.

Residents say staff in the office of the county commissioner and some chiefs may have colluded with businessmen to rob and sell the government’s relief food meant for drought-stricken residents.

A month ago, the  Auditor General said the National Drought Management Authority could not account for  Sh10.4 billion meant for drought mitigation.

In September, an assistant county commissioner and some traders were arraigned in Garissa on charges of stealing relief food.

Hungry residents in Meru, especially in Tigania and Igembe, have been appealing for relief food and planting seeds without success.

(Edited by V. Graham)