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MCAs wants Nyeri executive to explain rising coffee theft

Monday September 12 2016

A worker at Gaturiri Coffee Factory in Nyeri

A worker at Gaturiri Coffee Factory in Nyeri inspects a store from where 50 bags of coffee were stolen on September 7, 2016. The Nyeri County Assembly has put the executive on the spot over rampant cases of coffee theft in the county. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

IRENE MUGO
By IRENE MUGO
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The Nyeri County Assembly has put the executive on the spot over rampant cases of coffee theft in the county.

Members have requested a statement seeking to know the position of the county government on the theft.

According to Kiganjo-Mathari MCA Baragu Mutahi, Sh65 million meant for education and ICT was reallocated to buy police vehicles.

“What was the purpose of improving the security yet coffee is being stolen every night in various sub-counties? asked Mr Baragu.

Police officers in Mukurwe-ini are paid more than Sh27,000 a month to patrol around the factory and guard against thefts in an arrangement between them and the factory’s management.

But 51 bags and 39 chickens were stolen in Ndia-ini Coffee Factory in a 4am raid in Mukurwe-ini on August 15.

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Another 209 bags of P1 coffee was stolen from Rui-Ruiru Coffee Factory in Mathira even as it emerged that police officers are paid Sh600 a night to guard the factory.

The assembly also wants the executive to reveal the monetary value of the coffee that has been stolen and when the farmers will be compensated.

Farmers who have fallen victim to the raids said their insurer takes too long to compensate them.

There are about 85,000 coffee farmers and 26 coffee societies in the county.

Night coffee raids have been prevalent in Nyeri, with more than 395 bags stolen this year alone.