Senator wants private coffee millers audited to tame theft

Meru Senator Kathuri Murungi addresses coffee farmers at Kariene market in Central Imenti constituency. Photo John Majau

Senate Deputy Speaker Kathuri Murungi has called on the government to audit all private coffee millers across the country following the increasing coffee theft cases.

Speaking at Kariene in Central Imenti Constituency, Kathuri who is also the Meru Senator urged the ministry of agriculture to move with speed and collect data on source and volumes of coffee produced by societies and private factories.

While condemning last week’s robbery of coffee valued at KSh7 million and killing of two night guards at Mariene factory in the area, Kathuri called on the DCI to arrest the culprits who are still at large.

“Cases of coffee theft in the factories are rampant and alarming. I call on the Ministry of Agriculture to step in, investigate and come up with proper production data and capacity of every private factory in order to curb coffee theft. This will identify any loopholes for selling stolen coffee to private sector,” said Kathuri.

He at the same time noted coffee theft in Mt Kenya region has become a norm making the government lose millions of shillings in the sector.

“The Ministry of Agriculture needs to work hand in hand with the security agencies to unravel the mystery of the whereabouts of large amount of coffee getting lost from the affected factories,” the senator said.

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Speaking when he visited the families of the deceased security guards, Kathuri said security should be beefed especially during harvest seasons.

During the 2am incident, thugs raided the factory and stole 200 bags of coffee before loading them to a waiting truck for transportation to an unknown destination.

Meru Central Sub–county Police Commander Justin Njeru said investigations are still on going calling on residents to volunteer any information to help the police arrest the gang.

This comes as President William Ruto announced that the government waiver of KSh6.9 billion coffee debt is a broader scheme to revamp the lucrative coffee industry and bring back the lost glory.

By John Majau

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