Three staff members of Mandera county hospital were arrested on Saturday by police in Mandera in connection with theft of biscuits meant for hunger stricken children in Mandera county.
The hospital personnel were apprehended for stealing 1100 cartons of the nutrition biscuits. Those arrested were the hospital manager, the facility store keeper and the watchman on duty during the disappearance of the biscuits.
Confirming the incident, Mandera East OCPD Jackson Rotich, said the three were been held at Mandera police station for interrogations over the mysterious disappearance of the therapeutic biscuits.
“It is unfortunate that people entrusted with therapeutic food meant for malnourished children who are victims of the biting drought could conspire to divert it in order to enrich themselves” the OCPD said.
Plumby nut biscuits are usually supplied by humanitarian aid agencies in drought stricken areas in North-Eastern region to resuscitate the deteriorating health of tens of thousands of malnourished children, who are under 5 years.
However, the biscuits never reach the intended children, but end up in the local market. A box of Plumby nut with a hundred pieces of biscuits is sold at prices ranging from 3,000 to 2, 500. The price difference is determined by the type of the biscuit.
Rotich said considering the prices of the biscuit in the local market, the monetary value of the stolen biscuits could be over 2.5 million.
He said the suspects, who will be in Mandera senior magistrate court on Monday to answer charges of stealing medical supplies meant for drought stricken children under 5 years.
Despite the police in Mandera arresting the hospital staff in connection to missing of the biscuits. investigation by the Standard has revealed that the therapeutic biscuits are openly sold in shops and market places in Mandera, Wajir and Garissa towns with full knowledge of the security officers.
The biscuit which is in semi-liquid form is popular with Miraa chewers, who use it during Miraa chewing session in the place of groundnuts.
Hussein Alio a diehard Miraa chewer in Mandera town claims that the biscuit is good when chewed with Miraa since it softens and makes it easiers to chew the narcotic leaves for many hours without getting tired.
– The Standard