Today, we are covering a very worrying news story that concerns the Kenya coffee industry. According to reports that we have seen, a group of armed individuals raided the Kagere Coffee Factory in Othaya, a town about 120-kilometers north of Nairobi.
The thugs left the facility with 200 bags of coffee, valued at nearly $70,000.
Around twenty people – all male – attacked at night and caught the guards unaware. There were no serious injuries, but many of the guards said the armed robbers threatened to shoot unless they acquiesced to their demands.
“They gathered them at a central point and tied them with ropes before they broken into the parchment store where they emptied six coffee bins,” said Joseph Gakuo, the factory’s manager.
Unfortunately, this does not appear to be an isolated incident. There have been reports of robberies in Nyeri County, as well as the nearby Kirinyaga and Murang’regions.
However, there is a belief among some members of the establishment that these thefts could all be inside jobs.
Isaac Masine, the Deputy County Commissioner for the Mukurweini region, intimated as much during a carefully planned media release in which he said that one such robbery was only reported hours it allegedly occurred.
Masinde also said that he had toured the factory in question, pointed out potential security flaws and recommended that management should employ additional staff to cover the night shifts.
Those claims, he says, were ignored.
Two days later, the facility was raided.