A Dandora man has been caught in the act of trying to sell bush meat, to be more precise zebra meat. The man was nabbed as he was on his way to sell the meat.
Reports reaching Mpasho.co.ke indicate the man had stashed the meat In a Toyota fielder ready for supplying.
The suspect, identified as Peter Nganga, had already skinned the carcasses, making it difficult to identify the kind of meat he was transporting. It was the manner which he was transporting the meat – through a personal car – that raised suspicion and ultimately led to his capturing.
Nganga is set to be arraigned in court on Monday, May 14. His arrest comes at the back of a notorious trend in Nairobi and its environs which has seen a number of individuals busted by authorities for selling illegal meat.
Kiambu county has been the most notorious, with cases of tens of donkeys being reported every few months.
Kenyan greed and desperation have fueled some moribund practices from many traders. Last year it was revealed that some meat retailers are using unregulated preservatives in excessively large amounts to preserve meat for as long as three months.
The use of sulphites — a form of inorganic salts — was banned in 1986 by the US Food and Drug Authority (FDA). In Kenya, however, this preservative is still in use in butcheries and supermarkets despite the health hazards it poses.
The salts are particularly used in ‘slow’ months such as January when the demand for meat is low.
Butchers have been buying the chemical — also known as sodium metabisulphite — from chemists and agrovets for Sh650 per 500-gramme container.
The sodium metabisulphite is a whitish, powdery compound that resembles glucose and is commonly known as dawa ya nyama (the meat drug).
They mix it with water and spray it on the meat to give it a crisp, reddish colour, which makes customers believe that the beef is fresh even if the carcass could have stayed for up to a month.
Laboratory tests carried out independently on meat samples purchased from supermarkets and butcheries in Nairobi and surrounding regions have revealed the presence of the preservative, which scientists say is one of the agents that cause cancer.