How Nairobians fund banditry in the Rift Valley - Governor Natembeya
According to Governor Natembeya, the animals stolen by bandits are transported to Nairobi slaughterhouses, such as the one in Dagoretti, and end up as sources for local markets.
Natembeya stated on Citizen TV's Monday night show that he made this discovery while serving as the Rift Valley Regional Commander (RC) for three years.
He went on to say that there is a "cartel" behind the livestock transport, and that all police officers stationed at various roadblocks have been compromised by bribes.
"These animals are eaten by the good people of Nairobi, you are funding bandits in the Rift Valley and this is a statement of fact I am not speculating because if 1,000 animals are stolen and taken to the Laikipia Nature Conservancy for instance but somehow they disappear in thin air," he said.
"We even gave instructions that no animals should be transported after 6pm and we instructed our police officers to man all the roadblocks from Baringo to Nairobi but these cartels know who is on the roadblock. They carry money and compromise everybody," he added.
"You try to go to Dagoretti slaughterhouse and try to look for the horns of the animals slaughtered there you will not find any because people identify their cows with their horns. You will not find anything including the skin."
Natembeya added that while serving as RC, efforts to nip the menace in the bud were frustrated despite his zeal because there was no support from the government and officers deployed to the region were abandoned.
"When I went to the Rift Valley I said I was going to be the last Ragional Commissioner to talk about banditry. I was very enthusiastic and I mobilized all security agencies all the way from Turkana to Baragoi I even had meetings with all commanders and I told them that 'let us suffer for two or three months but let nobody else who comes after us suffer the way you have suffered'," he noted.
"All we asked from the government was aerial support and enough fuel for our vehicles and the go-ahead to move in. We divided the North-Rift into sectors and my commanders were ready, they said let them die but they die protecting Kenyans. We weren't given that approval,' he noted.
Governor Natembeya said that they could not be effective because the troops were disenchanted, noting that even access to basic needs was not possible.
"But how do you expect us to succeed we don't have vehicles, or fuel, officers are completely demoralized. The salaries they are paid is the same traffic officers are paid," he said.
"There is no food, officers are given food, it is procured centrally in Nairobi. You buy cabbages in Molo it is taken to the headquarters Gilgil then transported to Kapedo yet you can get cabbaged in Baringo. But there is somebody with invested interest procuring these cabbages. By the time the cabbages arrive in Kapedo they are rotten."
Natembeya said that the working conditions were very frustrating, recalling one time when an officer was shot by bandits in Laikipia and nobody answered his calls while he sought transport for the young officer.
He says this is the reason that prompted him to leave the security administration and get into politics.
"I remember there was a GSU officer in Laikipia, we have watch towers and the shifts change in what we call a changeover. So during the changeover, and I think the previous officer slept abit and the bandits moved very close to the watch tower about 23 metres," he said.
"So after changeover, this young man a 24-year old young boy climbed up there and he was shot in the head and we could not even get an ambulance to take him to hospital. WEe tried getting him to hospital and when I talked to Medhill's hospital management they told me that the boy will just be a vegetable because his brains were out," added Natembeya.
"The worst thing is that the commander had already reported that the officer was dead and they never bothered." I tried to call in Nairobi but nobody was picking my calls. I decided I am not going to preside over the deaths of innocent civilians. It was frustrating."
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