Herders Defy Matiang'i, Kill Police Officer

Officers on duty at a police station in Kenya in a photo dated 2020

A police officer was killed during a shoot-out with herders who had invaded a conservancy in Laikipia County.

Herders invading conservancies in Laikipia defied Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i and trespassed into conservancies days after the minister warned against such actions.

Sources told Kenyans.co.ke that the herders had invaded a ranch belonging to Kuki Gallman, a renowned face in Laikipia County and the owner of the Laikipia Nature Conservancy.

A goat herder looking after his her in Turkana County
A goat herder looking after his her in Turkana County
United Nations

Gallmann was in April 2017 attacked and badly wounded while patrolling her land.

Earlier this week CS Matiang'I ordered the herders to leave conservancies, farms and ranches in Laikipia County within 7 days. 

Matiang'i on Wednesday, July 28 commissioned officers from the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) and special unit forces from the police to protect wealthy ranchers who have been in a protracted conflict with the local community in Laikipia.

He further stated that his team would create a General Service Unit (GSU) camp in the area to protect the ranchers who include white settlers who raised the complaints during the meeting.

Speaking during a meeting with security officials in Naibor, Laikipia County, he issued a 7-day ultimatum to private land invaders to leave the area.

The CS assured residents that they have already made plans with the Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai to form a special unit that would flush out invaders.

Matiang'i ordered all the herders who had allegedly invaded private land to vacate within the stated ultimatum failure to which the government will forcefully eject them during the security operation.

"We are preparing a crack operation. It will be merciless and it will be very firm, please don't weep," the Interior CS announced.

In a period of six months, six people have been killed in connection with the land invasions in the area while eight have been left nursing serious injuries.

He further warned the political leaders against fanning violence in the area.

White billionaire settlers are the major landowners in the Laikipia area who have always faced threats from the locals who lay an ancestral claim to the land. 

Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS) Fred Matiang'i speaking to the press in August 2019.
Daily Nation
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