Butcher arrested over livestock theft
By Justus Karanja
A butcher identified as Peter Njenga (above) has been arrested over the theft of livestock in Machakos which are slaughtered and the meat sold to unsuspecting customers in Kiambu and Nairobi.
Detectives said Njenga alias Sonko (above) was operating a chain of Nyama Choma eateries along the Eastern Bypass.
He was arrested after being linked to the disappearance of livestock in Machakos County. Njenga was arrested after forensic investigations linked him to the raid of a Masai manyatta on December 16, last year in Athi River, Machakos County.
During the raid staged in the dead of the night, a herd of cattle valued at over Sh1 million was stolen and loaded into a waiting lorry.
Detectives from the elite Crime Research and Intelligence Bureau, together with Athi River based sleuths have since established that the cattle were driven to the Dagoretti slaughterhouse, where a ready market for livestock including stolen animals thrives.
In some instances, the animals are slaughtered in the bush and ferried straight to popular meat joints in the city.
The 41-year-old mastermind of the illegal trade that has left livestock keepers destitute lives in opulence in Utawala, in the city’s outskirts.
The suspect is an established butcher who operates nyama choma eateries, scattered across the city. They are located at strategic places along the eastern bypass in Utawala and Ruiru towns, where city residents and revelers frequent to enjoy mouth-watering nyama choma and other accompaniments. Expectedly, the suspect’s butcheries that offer a Kilogram of beef at a highly discounted price of Sh380, were a beehive of activity when detectives raided them.
Maina’s arrest came after numerous complaints from Athi River based herders, following an increase in livestock disappearance over the past few months. After being grilled, the suspect led detectives to his accomplices in the multi-million livestock theft industry.
Among the arrested is the driver of the lorry that ferried the livestock, David Gachora and the lorry’s owner Samuel Mwangi.
After checking out Gachora’s details in the criminal database, detectives established that he has a history of ferrying stolen livestock and has a similar case pending at the Mavoko Law courts.