Mwingi residents are crying over the rising donkey theft and smuggling by unknown merchants suspected to be linked to a thriving black market in China.The stakeholders are warning about the ongoing increasing cases of donkey theft in Kitui leaving the beast of burden’s life in danger.Donkey theft cases are on rise at different parts of Kitui with locals suspecting the smugglers to be skinning the animals for ferry to specific black markets assumed to be in China.
Addressing Mwingi locals on Thursday, 27th September, Dr. Joseph Kamwonzo, Kitui County Veterinary Officer called for immediate measures to avoid the extinction of the animal in the society.He further lamented over the high decreasing rate of donkey numbers in Kitui County over the ongoing smmugling and theft that is at its peak by unidentified dealers.The veterinary officer’s shocking revelation comes alongside the County Legislation seeking to protect the animal from continued abuse.The Donkey Policy motion at Assembly Chambers for debate by Ward representatives is aimed at ensuring better welfare for the animal.
”The proposed construction of a donkey abattoir in Kithyoko, Machakos County, is a sure indication that the slaughter house is targeting donkeys from Kitui County as its catchment area,” disclosed the County Veterinary Officer.
Esther Mutua, a donkey owner from Kyuso in Mwingi, unzipped series of economic importance of the beast of burden to the county residents including carrying loads over long distances, fetching water from rivers and dams, among other functions.She also expressed her worry about the likely extinction of donkey in future if proposed donkey abbatoirs are to be established within Ukambani and its neighbouring regions.
Mrs. Mutua added that donkeys receive the least consideration in comparison to other animal species in society despite being breadwinners for a couple of households and that are considered inferior and of less use.She also cited the neglected donkey welfare that associates and ties up the animal to the poor in society.
Samuel Mulonzya, Mwingi Central Donkey Owners Chairman condemned the proposed commissioning of the Kithyoko donkey abbattoir in Machakos next to Mwingi.He added that the abbatoir, located along the Mwingi-Garissa highway is likely to fuel illegal cross border smuggling and theft between the two adjacent counties.