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Gatundu farmers forced to guard pregnant cows at night for fear of rustlers

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Residents of Karuri village in Gatundu North, Kiambu County have decried increased cattle theft cases in the area and which have caused them huge losses.

Small-scale farmers whose cows are pregnant are bearing the brunt of the intensified curfew-time crime which is now forcing them to spend nights guarding their livestock against the insensitive rustlers.

According to them, the rustlers have mastered the homesteads with expectant cows which they transport by foot at night before they are loaded on pickups and ferried to destinations yet to be established.

Led by needy Maria Njoki whose only cow was stolen in the wee hours of Thursday night, the hopeless dairy farmers regretted that their only source of livelihood is on the verge of extinction should relevant measures fail to be undertaken with urgency.

Njoki, an elderly, frail woman who was given the dairy animal by a well-wisher to better her living standards recounted that the thieves raided her home at night and made away with the 5-months pregnant cow and which she had hoped to start earning from through the sale of milk.

The widowed woman, 72, who lives in a muddy house said that due to her old age, she can hardly undertake menial work and only relied on the cow for her survival saying that the thieves almost cut short her life.

“The cow did not moo and how they managed to steal it without me hearing is still a mystery. We are troubled by the increased disorder in this village where police are doing less to contain vices,” the hysterical woman said.

This week, the thieves also stole a pregnant cow in the neighbouring Nyamathumbi village which they slaughtered, and dumped the unborn calf along the road before they made away with the cow meat to undisclosed locations.

A few meters from Njoki’s pitiable home, the adamant robbers had managed to steal two pregnant cows but unsuccessfully transported them as the homeowners were able to get the animals where they had been held awaiting transportation.

Armed with pangas, David Mungai and his sons left their house in the wee hours of Thursday night where after a thorough check inside his farm, he found the two animals tied to a tree.

Angry locals from the affected villages called on sleuths who are only meters away from their homes to intensify night patrols to arrest the growing vice that could leave them poorer.

They further called on area MP Wanjiku Kibe to highlight the increased lawlessness in parliament for action by heads of the Interior Ministry.

The incidents are happening barely two months after residents of Ngorongo village which is three kilometres away protested over rampant cattle theft in the area, saying it has continued to devastate their economic wellbeing alongside threatening peaceful co-existence of the area.





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