NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 20 – The relatives and friends of Tom Cholmondeley have described him as a true believer of the rule of law and specifically a dedicated Kenyan citizen to penal reforms.
This follows his death on Wednesday while undergoing treatment for a fractured hip at MP Shah Hospital in Nairobi.
His partner Sally Dudmesh says despite Cholmondeley’s life being associated with scandals, he had a great passion for the country and helping Kenyans.
“He was an impressive man in both stature and character, whose generosity of spirit touched all people who knew him,” she says.
“I know that Tom would wish to be remembered for the wide range of projects that he undertook with great energy. I believe however that his greatest legacy was his stewardship of Soysambu, founded on his deep knowledge of its fragile ecosystem, and leading to the creation of the wildlife conservancy.
She added that: “I have never met a man with such an appetite for life, who was always happy and never complained, even through the difficult times. He is an enormous loss and we are all devastated.”
The aristocrat was however not short of controversy since he had been accused of killing two people on his vast 50,000 acres in which he was known to patrol while armed with a Luger pistol and Winchester rifle.
The first incident was in 2005, where he claimed self-defence and was cleared without trial in the killing of an undercover wildlife ranger Samson Ole Sisina, who was arresting one of his workers suspected of poaching.
In April 2005, Cholmondeley also shot dead Robert Njoya, a stonemason, at his Soysambu ranch over claims of intrusion and was jailed for eight months.
The judge reduced the charge from murder, saying that Cholmondeley’s attempts to give first aid proved that he accidentally shot the poacher when aiming at his dogs.
Tom, a Kenyan citizen, was born in Kenya on June 19, 1968, the only son of Hugh George Cholmondeley, 5thBaron Delamere, and his wife Anne Willoughby.
He was father to two teenage sons, Hugh and Henry.