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Panic as 100 cows are stolen

25 March 2013, 16:30 Ngarae Elias

Residents of Kirinyaga County are protesting over rising cases of cattle rustling which has seen over 100 animals stolen in the past month.

In the latest incident, the cattle rustlers raided Ndaba village in Mwea division and made away with five heads of cattle belonging to one dairy farmer.

The farmer woke up in the morning to milk his cows only to find them missing and alerted the villagers who then pursued the rustlers.

However, the villagers did not catch up with the rustlers who were said to have escaped to the neighboring Mbeere district.

The residents said the situation was so serious adding that the invaders strike when the village is asleep.

"They raid homesteads under the cover of darkness and take away the animals unnoticed," one of the residents Karimu Ndambiri, 35, said.

The residents accused the police for failing to tame the rustlers who were stealing their animals and selling them to unscrupulous traders in Nairobi and other parts of the country.

"We have reported the matter to the police and nothing has been done to keep off the invaders," another resident said.

Following constant raids, residents are spending nights in the cold guarding their livestock.

"These days we do not sleep. We are forced to keep vigil so as to protect our animals from the criminals," another resident added.

The residents said even goats and sheep were not being spared. When the rustlers fail to get cows, they take away goats and sheep.

Residents threatened to lynch suspected rustlers if the police failed to arrest and prosecute them.

The police denied that they were not doing anything to fight the rampant crime saying they had arrested one suspect and charged him in court.

"Already, we have arrested a suspect who has been charged with twenty counts of stock theft," one of the officers said.

The police called on the residents to cooperate and volunteer information which could assist in apprehending all those involved in the crime.

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