Matiang’i Orders Ruthless Operation to End Coffee Theft in Two Months

The Government has taken elaborate measures to crush criminals and cartels involved in coffee theft in Central Kenya and other parts across the country.
Addressing security chiefs from central Kenya in Nyeri today, the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, Dr. Fred Matiang’i, directed National Government Administrative Officers (NGAOs) to launch a ruthless operation in the region to bring the criminals to justice by December 30, 2018.
“We have received so many complaints from cooperative societies and individual farmers; it’s clear this epidemic has reached chronic proportions, and we can no longer make excuses in addressing this and other contextual security issues,” Dr. Matiang’i stated.
The Cabinet Secretary also divulged that there is intelligence that some of the heists are inside jobs, but directed security chiefs to profile cooperative societies in their respective areas of jurisdiction
and smoke out all criminals masquerading as coffee farmers to reap where they never sow.
The Government has put in place other numerous measures to address the plight of coffee farmers.
In 2015, H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta appointed a 19-member National Task Force on Coffee Sub-Sector Reforms to investigate problems in the coffee sector. Subsequently in 2016, the President established the Coffee Sector Implementation Committee meant to align the sector’s regulations with the Constitution, the Crops Act and the functions of the county government so as to provide protection of the growers’ rights along the entire value chain.
To this end, the Committee drafted the Coffee (General) Regulations that were revised in 2018. Under the new regulations the entire marketing system is supposed to be restructured to favour the grower and eliminate brokers and cartels that have gone as far as orchestrating factory and farm coffee thefts in coffee growing counties. Further, the rules prohibit traders involved in coffee business from holding multiple licenses, which most multinationals have been taking advantage of to exploit poor farmers.
Dr. Matiang’i called for more cooperation among NGAOs in line with the Government’s commitment to streamlining service delivery and warned them against dereliction of duty. He said that those underperforming will be winnowed out and action taken against them.
He said: “We are investigating some of our officers, and stern action will be taken against them if found culpable.”
He also urged them to sustain the war against the consumption of illicit brews and decapitate the supply chain of bhang and other drugs in the region and be vigilant against exam malpractices.
“We are a responsible Government and we will not leave anything to chance when it comes to delivering clean examinations,” he reiterated.
He added that all the Assistant County Commissioners (ACCs) and Chiefs across the country will undergo mandatory paramilitary training in the next six months to help them coordinate effectively the functions of the National Government at the grassroots.