Conservationist Kuki Gallmann shot, injured at her Laikipia conservancy

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Kuki Gallmann (picture-alliance/dpa/J.Wire)

Renowned conservationist and author Kuki Gallmann has been shot and injured by herders who invaded her Gallmann Africa Conservancy in Laikipia.

According to her daughter Ms Sveva Makena, her mother was shot in the stomach and has been airlifted to Nanyuki for first aid before she is airlifted to Nairobi for specialised treatment.

Confirming the incident area police boss Ezekiel Chepkwony said that Ms Kuki was patrolling her ranch on Sunday morning when she was shot in the stomach by the herders who had laid an ambush at Damu Nyekundu area.

The police boss said that Mrs Gallmann was rushed to a hospital in Nanyuki for first aid treatment saying that her driver also survived the attack.

“Security officers managed to overpower the herders who escaped some of them with gunshot wounds after shooting her. The officers are currently following on the bandits and we shall bring them to book,’’ he told the Nation by Phone.

A security guard at the ranch said that Mrs Gullaman, 73, was shot by some of the herders who had managed to enter close to her compound.

“The herders had burned down several buildings on the conservancy and have also been firing bullets at us (staff) while coming closer and closer to our houses. “They attacked her today few meters from her house where she was patrolling the ranch,’’ said the guard.

The herders last month invaded the conservancy and burnt a lodge at Mukutan Retreat that is located on the Laikipia-Baringo boundary.

Ms Kuki is an Italian-born conservationist and author.

SECURITY OPERATION

It is the largest conservancy in the county, sitting on a 100,000-acre parcel of land.

The attacks come after the herders accused security officers, who are carrying out a security operation in the area, of indiscriminately shooting and killing over 1,000 livestock in the conservancy, claims the conservancy spokesperson Sveva Gallmann has since said are untrue.

The illegal grazers have in the past months invaded Laikipia with more than 100,000 cattle, goats and sheep in search of pasture and water as drought continues to ravage most parts of the country.

Four police officers have been shot and injured in confrontations between the herders and the security officers in the area.

On Febraury 8, Officer Commanding Rumuruti Police Division (OCPD) Merengo Muherai was shot and badly injured in the chest.

TRISTAN VOORSPUY

Days later a GSU officer was also shot during an operation in the area.

A police driver was also shot and injured in the chest at Sosian ranch a month later.

The latest shooting of Mr Tristan Voorspuy, owner and founder of Offbeat Safaris Ltd and that of an expectant mother and her two sons early last month, prompted the government to deploy the military in a disarmament exercise also aimed at evicting the illegal grazers from the County.

Mr Voorspuy was shot dead on March 5 as he inspected a burnt lodge at his vast Sosian ranch.

Last week opposition leader Raila Odinga called for a stop of the on-going KDF/police joint operation, claiming it was inhuman as innocent pastoralists were being tortured and their livestock also killed.

END ATTACKS

National Super Alliance (Nasa) co-principal Raila Odinga has condemned the attack on Mrs Gallmann and urged the national government to take control and stop the invasions.

“As Opposition, we detest and condemn the hooliganism taking roots in this part of the country and demand action that will restore order before things get completely out of control,” said Mr Odinga in a statement.

Mr Odinga said that Mrs Gallmann has contributed tremendously to the growth of the country in general and northern Kenya.

“Unfortunately, we have watched in bewilderment as hooligans take advantage of the drought to subject these ranchers to unwarranted attacks.

“Even more depressing is the apparent helplessness of the government that is clearly unable or unwilling to bring these attacks to a stop,” said Mr Odinga.

via Daily Nation

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