A British man was shot to death by pastoral herders in central Kenya who have been invading large farms, some of which double as wildlife conservation areas, officials said on Sunday.
Rancher Tristan Voorspuy was shot after inspecting some of his lodges that had been burned by the attackers on Friday, Laikipia County Commander of Police Simon Kipkeu said.
The victim’s body was found lying next to his injured horse on Sunday and police are interviewing witnesses, Kipkeu said.
Some officials have blamed the land invasions on a severe drought that has made poor herders desperate. The UN humanitarian chief has appealed for assistance for herders affected by what Kenya’s government has declared a natural disaster.
Ranchers say the invasions are politically motivated and part of plans to take over their land.
Laikipia Farmers’ Association chairman Martin Evans said Voorspuy had been a shareholder in Sosian Ranch for more than 15 years and “went to look at the house of a fellow director and friend that had been burnt by invading and well-armed ‘pastoralists’ on Friday.”
He said Voorspuy was passionate about Laikipia, its land and its wildlife, adding that Voorspuy sought to show that cattle ranching, wildlife and people can coexist if the land is well-looked after.
Kenya has been hit by a cycle of violence involving land invasions and evictions in the 1992, 1997 and 2007 elections.
The nation is to hold general elections in August.
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