, ATHI RIVER, Kenya, Sept 17 – The shame of cows dying at the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) on Thursday took a different twist when the East African Portland Cement Company (EAPCC) barred the meat company from using its fields as a cattle holding area.
The EAPCC management deployed security officers to the field with instructions not to allow lorry-loads of cattle in. Even journalists were barred from the field where thousands of carcasses have been buried after cows died while waiting to be bought by KMC.
A security guard from EAPCC said: “We are under strict instructions from the top management not to allow the media to pass this gate.”
A worker at KMC who also pleaded for anonymity said: “For the last two nights we have been too busy separating the dead animals from the healthy ones, we have also removed them from where they can be easily seen.”
Despite trying to access the area for about four hours, journalists were denied entry with some KMC officials accusing the media of tarnishing the organisation’s image.
“Sasa kuonyeshana ng’ombe zimekufa zinasaidia watu aje? (how does showing dead cows on television help you?)” retorted an official.
Capital News was one of the media houses barred from entering the field whose stench of dead animals could be smelt from as far as one kilometer away.
Efforts to reach either the KMC or EAPCC managements were fruitless.
Nkaissery Ole Lesian quipped that the government had demonstrated its weaknesses with the Athi River situation.
“This government has not even fed the people, how would you expect it to feed cows?”