Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS) Fred Matiang'i on Tuesday announced a heavy security crackdown in Central Kenya.
Speaking at Nyeri, Matiang’i directed National Government Administrative Officers (NGAOs) to launch a ruthless operation in the region to bring the criminals behind coffee theft to justice by December 30, 2018.
"We have received so many complaints from cooperative societies and individual farmers," the CS stated.
"It’s clear this epidemic has reached chronic proportions, and we can no longer make excuses in addressing this and other contextual security issues," he added.
Addressing security chiefs from Central Kenya, Matiang'i noted that there is intelligence that some of the coffee theft heists are inside jobs.
However, he directed security chiefs to profile cooperative societies in their respective areas of jurisdiction and smoke out all criminals masquerading as coffee farmers to benefit from the trade.
The CS further called for more cooperation among NGAOs in line with the Government’s commitment to streamline service delivery and warned them against dereliction of duty.
"We are investigating some of our officers, and stern action will be taken against them if found culpable," Matiang'i warned.
Over 600,000 Kenyan farmers who rely on coffee production have had their livelihoods threatened by a spate of robberies that target dried coffee beans in farmers' cooperative societies.
The emergence of cartels specialising in coffee theft in Central Kenya has left a majority of peasant farmers wallowing in poverty following well-executed multi-million robberies.
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