Wildlife Direct condemns escalating violence in Laikipia


(Posted 25th April 2017)

Following the death of Tristan Voorspruy of Sosian and repeated aggression against tourist lodges in the wider Laikipia area – the luxurious Mukatan Retreat of Kuki Gallman was burned down not much later as one of several which faced the same fate incidentally costing hundreds of Kenyans their jobs as a result – was Kuki Gallman shot and seriously wounded on her conservancy during yet another aggressive invasion of private property.

Kuki’s daughter, when the lodge was looted and burned down, was at the time also shot at but not hit, showing that murder and attempted murder are now the order of the day as these criminals use any pretext to raid, rob, loot and burn. Over 30 other Kenyans have also lost their lives since the invasions began several months ago and the Kenyan government still has not decisively defeated these hordes of bandits.

Meanwhile is racism rearing its ugly head in media comments, with one regular vile contributor under the disguise ‘SocksDontHaveToMatch‘ openly demanding for ethnic cleansing and otherwise to shoot his targets with arrows. Authorities are yet to identify him and dozens of others of his ilk and bring them to justice.

Now has Wildlife Direct once again spoken out against the violence and released the following press statement, repeated herebelow in full:

WildlifeDirect has called for the national security apparatus to accelerate efforts to achieve rule of law in Laikipia County where many lives have been lost, people injured and millions of dollars lost due to property damage. The targeting of foreign born owners and managers of conservancies have hit both local and international headlines, but even more disturbing are the numbers of unreported killings of Kenyan small scale farmers and herders. In addition there has been a slaughter of endangered wildlife including grevy’s zebras, elephants, lions and giraffes.

People, wildlife and cattle have been caught in the crossfire and the polarized commentary on social media may be emboldening the criminals.

The latest shooting of conservationist Kuki Gallmann comes after the shooting of OCPD, Rumuruti on February 7 and the killing of one of the directors of Sosian Ranch, Tristan Voorspuy on March 5. This is compounded by documented incidences of armed violence, threats, intimidation, stock theft, vandalism, poaching, human wildlife conflict and illegal grazing.

Laikipia is world famous for it’s wildlife spectacles, and is one of the few conservation areas in Kenya that has seen an increase in endangered wildlife numbers in recent years. The fallout of this politically motivated chaos could lead to significant loss of endangered species. Hard won conservation success will be undone leading to further loss of life, property, loss of tourism revenues, jobs and livelihoods.

We call on the government through the National Security Council, Ministry of Interior and Coordination and the National Police Service to afford protection of the right to security, of every person in without exception. The citizens of this country who comes with all colors and creed have legitimate expectations from the Legitimate State in protecting their lives and property as set in Bill of rights as set out in Chapter 4 of our Constitution.

Drought has now been declared a National Disaster but no efforts are being applied to alleviate that disaster hence losing more than 50 lives in the last 6 months.

Disarming the militias and destocking the herders’ livestock through Disaster Management Fund will go along way in easing the pressure for water and pasture in the short term.

“In a civilized society like ours, with the most progressive constitution in the world, this is an open shut case for Class suit for Negligence on the part of the State for Compensation for loss of lives and property. The state has been caught sleeping on the job hence, Article 23(3)(e) of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 should be invoked as matters of urgency by herders, small scale farmers and Conservancy owners,” Edward Muriu, Board member of WildlifeDirect and a Constitutional Lawyer said.