By James Munyeki
|Police officers display remnants of the butchered cattle after having finally caught up with the late Pastor’s family. [Photo: James Munyeki]|
Details of strange happenings are emerging as shocked neighbours recollect how a respected pastor’s family ran a cattle-rustling racket for years before the law finally caught up with them.
For months, residents of Kibathi village in the outskirts of Nyahururu town had complained of cows and heifers disappearing mysteriously, never to be seen again as strange vehicles made nocturnal visits to the home at night.
Heart of a racket
A neighbour who sought anonymity told The Standard: “There was always commotion at the home with vehicles entering and leaving at night. It is just that we did not have any proof that the family was engaging in criminal activities.”
Another neighbour said that after every two nights, a car would come in the middle of the night and be loaded with meat, which was transported to Nairobi and sold to unsuspecting butchery owners.
It now emerges that the family was engaged in a racket that involved stealing cattle in Laikipia and Nyandarua and selling the meat in Nairobi.
An administrator in the area who also did not want his named mentioned said that before their arrest, at least ten cows had been reported missing a month before.
A Nyahururu-based butcher revealed that the family was at the heart of a racket where cattle were stolen from parts of Laikipia and smuggled into the family’s home where they were slaughtered and the meat ferried to Nairobi.
The neighbours’ suspicions and speculations were confirmed on Monday, when 67-year-old Grace Mukami, the widow of the late Wilson Wandimi was jailed for seven years together with six of her children.
Only two sons, one of who is in United States of America and the other in Mombasa escaped the fate of the family because they were not linked to the syndicate.