The shooting of Italian conservationist Kuki Gallmann shone a spotlight on the violence in Kenya’s drought-hit Laikipia region, where armed cattle herders have been invading private properties in search of grazing lands for their animals.
The 73-year-old Gallmann was ambushed by suspected cattle herders and shot in the stomach at her conservation park, the Laikipia Nature Conservancy.
In recent months, violence in Laikipia has been witnessed with 14 people, including former British army soldier Tristan Voorspuy, being shot by Samburu herdsmen in March as he was checking three lodges that had been torched on his ranch.
Britain reacted to the Kenyan government over Laikipia rancher killing and called on speedy probe into the deep root cause of Laikipia violence.
British Intelligence leak now has linked the violence in Laikipia to the country’s politics and the opposition chief Raila Odinga is at the centre of these conflicts.
In a Robert Mugabe style, Raila Odinga in a well-planned strategy is behind the violence in a bid to oust the white settlers in Laikipia and take over those lands.
According to British Intelligence, Raila Odinga has been using his ODM lieutenant, who is also the incumbent Member of Parliament for for Laikipia North, Matthew Lempurkel to plan and unleash to violence against the Ranchers and also Kikuyu community who are a minority.
Raila taking advantage of the prolonged draught witnessed in the country knew when to strike. Bearing in mind the Laikipia County is inhabited by Masaai community who are pastoralists and minority Kikuyu community (farmers) through his foot soldiers, organized the violence witnessed in Laikipia in guise that the attackers were pastoralist’s bandits in search of pastures for their animals.
Reports secretly given by locals from both community blames the opposition leader of coming in between the two communities who rely on each other for livelihood. The bloodthirsty bad-wagon have been providing the so called ‘bandits’ with weaponry to cause violence with ultimate goal, to dislodge the white settlers who owns tracts of land in the County.
Sarah Korere, a nominated Member of Parliament for Laikipia North, told Reuters in March that the politicians seeking votes from particular ethnic blocs were stoking violent land invasions in this case, Matthew Lempurkel.
Lempurkel has been using racially charged language and inciting native Kenyans to enter private property illegally. The MP also has been forcefully extorting money from the private investors and ranchers in Laikipia North and East and subsequently using the funds to finance Raila’s campaigns.
Through Raila, Lempurkel has been supplying his ‘Moran Army’ with guns to aid the attacks. Earlier this year, Matthew Lempurkel told his supporters that he was waging a war “against the whites and it happened. Tristan Voorspuy, a rich rancher with number of lodges in Laikipia was shot dead after he declined to contribute some substantial amount of money asked by Raila’s man, Matthew Lempurkel.
“In my constituency there are a million hectares owned by 36 settlers. It’s very clear, it is white and black, and there’s historical injustices,”Lempurkel was quoted saying. He was later arrested and charged with incitement.
Raila in an interview with The Times, vowed to dismantle the white owned ranches in Laikipia if elected President in August. Britain has protested Raila’s sentiments warning it will not take his threats to its citizens lightly.
With elections coming up in August, some more unscrupulous individuals would tend to take advantage to promote themselves as champions of the community, taking on these white landowners.