Police break relief food theft syndicate

Wednesday March 18 2020

North Imenti DCIO James Githinji displays some of the relief rice bags recovered in a shop at Kaithe shopping centre on November 2, 2019. PHOTO | DAVID MUCHUI | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Police in North Imenti, Meru County are investigating a relief food theft syndicate after 2500 kilos of rice was recovered at Kaithe shopping centre, Friday evening.

Officers led by North Imenti DCI boss James Githinji pounced on one suspect as the relief rice was being repackaged at a store on the Meru-Maua road.

Among the 100 bags were 50 empty sacks labelled GK relief food and 50, 50kg bags of rice that were yet to be emptied.

“We received information from the public that the shop was stocking government relief rice. We have arrested the proprietor of the store as we conduct investigations to establish the source of the rice,” Mr Githinji said.

The DCIO said they would be seeking to establish which government official was responsible for the sale of the relief food.

Mr Githinji urged members of the public to be on the look out to ensure they do not buy illegal or unsafe food.

In September, an assistant county commissioner and traders were arrested in Garissa and charged with stealing relief food.

Last month, a report by the Auditor-General indicated that the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) could not account for some Sh10.4 billion in drought mitigation funds allocated in the 2017/2018 financial year.