The ranches invasion at Laikipia County seems to be getting out of hand by day as ranch owners continue being targeted by herders who have invaded their properties with their cattle.
British Ranch Co-Owner Tristan Voorspuy Shot Dead
Sosian ranch co-owner Tristan Voorspuy was over the weekend killed by the bandits as he visited a site where two cottages had been set ablaze by the herders.
A local resident who spoke to the Kenya Forum described the situation at Laikipia County as a “war zone”, saying the battle has been going on for over 50 days now.
A rancher, who also spoke us, said he was sleeping in his car, with his gun under the pillow as he doesn’t know when the herders will strike.
The ranch invasions by pastoralists, mainly from Samburu, Isiolo, Baringo and west Pokot counties have not spared security personnel either.Rumuruti OCPD Merengo Muherai and a GSU officer have been shot and seriously injured during an operation in the area.
Laikipia raches invasion political
The herders started invading the ranches, arguably in search of pasture for their livestock following the devastating drought that is ravaging parts of the country although ranch owners say the latest wave seems to be politically instigated.
“Private ranchers have in the past welcomed pastoralists, allowing them to graze their cattle inside the ranches during drought periods. However, last year, the matter took a political angle,” one rancher said.
According to an article by the Daily Nation, most of the herders who have been invading private ranches and wildlife conservancies in Laikipia County are driven by the belief that “the huge tracts of land now owned by ranchers – mostly – white settlers is their ancestral land”.
“There are politicians from Laikipia and Samburu counties who have been inciting the herders [telling them] that the ranches and conservancies were part of their ancestral land.
“This has emboldened them to invade private property at will as they seek to drive away those [legally] occupying the parcels of land,” a security official is quotes by the Nation Newspaper.
The ranches that have so far been invaded include; Sosian, Mugie Conservancy, Segera ranch, Loisaba, a community owned conservancy, Suyian Ranch, El Karama, ADC Mutara, Ol malo Sabuk, Ol pejeta conservancy among others.
Many local farmers have also been affected by the ranch invasions even though the media is not reporting their plight.