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We are on top of Laikipia security situation, govt says in response to rancher’s death

Cabinet Secretaries Joseph Nkaissery, Judi Wakhungu and Najib Balala address the press on the Laikipia shooting outside Harambee House on Monday/COURTESY

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 6 – Three hundred and seventy nine (379) illegal grazers have so far been arrested in Laikipia as security forces intensify operation to net bandits in the county.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery has said the government will intensify operations in areas facing insecurity to ensure normalcy returns.

“Enhanced security operations in Baringo and Elgeyo Marakwet counties are bearing fruits and the same will be extended to Laikipia county. In Laikipia, the police have already arrested 379 illegal grazers who are being processed in accordance with the law,” Nkaissery said.

“The government has taken appropriate action to ensure illegal grazers are removed and to keep raiders away from private farms and ranches,” he added.

Nkaissery, who was speaking during a press conference at Harambee House on Monday, said police reservists will be recruited to support security personnel from the National Police Service (NPS) currently deployed to Laikipia.

The Cabinet Secretary further stated that illegal grazers have been expelled from sixteen (16) ranches in Laikipia including those in Segera, Olmaisor, Ngano, Olenaishu, Tsango-Maos, Impala, Ngaruo and Kifuko ranches.

“Additional security personnel have been deployed in the operation to flash out illegal grazers and recover stolen livestock,” Nkaissery assured.

He said those behind the weekend killing of British rancher Tristan Voorspuy – one of the directors of Sosian Ranch in Laikipia – will be brought to book as the director of Criminal Investigation Ndegwa Muhoro led a team of detectives to Laikipia in a bid to unmask the faces behind Tristan’s murder.

Tristan was according to Martin Evans – the Chairperson of Laikipia Ranchers Association – shot while inspecting damage caused by bandits who set ablaze one of the lodges located in the ranch on Friday.

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Nkaissery’s cabinet colleagues Najib Balala (Tourism) and Judy Wakhungu (Environment and Natural Resources) —  also present during the press briefing — gave an assurance that the county was safe to visit and that wild animals domiciled in some of the ranches will be protected.

“I want to assure the tourism partners in that area and internationally that the government is on top of it and we have been monitoring the situation,” Balala said. “Any individual, ordinary or honourable if you’re caught inciting people against any private property, you must be arrested.”

His sentiments were backed by CS Wakhungu who said the ministry was monitoring the security of wildlife in Laikipia county.

“We have the Wildlife Management and Conservation Act (2013) which has very stiff penalties for poaching which go as far as 20 years imprisonment . We’re going to use the penalties as appropriate,” she said.

Also present during the media briefing was the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet.


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