How Nairobians appetite for nyama choma is fueling banditry and insecurity in the North Rift

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Those fatty ribs you like having every evening plus a mug of beer after work are part of the reason bandits are wreaking havoc in the North Rift, TransNzoia County Governor George Natembeya has said.

The former Rift Valley Regional Commissioner has said that a huge percentage of beef consumed in Nairobi comes from the Rift Valley. This demand for meat had led to the rise of cartels that are fueling the fighting among communities in order to steal livestock.

The average Kenyan consumes 15 kilograms of meat each year, with Nairobi residents eating two kilos more than the rest of the country. There is more meat consumed by Nairobians compared to those in Mombasa and Nakuru, as well as those in Kajiado and Eldoret.

“The good people of Nairobi eat these animals. You are funding bandits in the Rift Valley,” the governor said during a joint press briefing.

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The first-term governor claimed that some business people buy the cattle stolen from different warring communities and then transport them at night to Nairobi and Nakuru.

“We even gave instructions that no animal should be transported after 6 pm and instructed our police officers to man the roadblocks from Baringo all the way to Nairobi. These cartels will know who’s on the roadblocks.

“They carry money and compromise everybody. You go to Dagoretti slaughterhouse to look for horns of those animals slaughtered there but you cannot find any because people identify their animals using horns,” Natembeya explained.

He has further claimed that efforts to curb banditry were frustrated by former Interior PS Karanja Kibicho.

“I spoke to the President (Uhuru) more times than I spoke with the PS (Kibicho). In that kind of circumstance, how do you succeed? You don’t have fuel. You don’t have vehicles. The officers are demoralized…” he said.

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