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DCI Ndegwa Muhoro dispatched to Laikipia for operations as Britain demand more security

COUNTIES
By Cyrus Ombati | March 6th 2017
Tristan Voorspay a rancher in Laikipia County who was shot dead by armed bandits on Sunday.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations Ndegwa Muhoro was Monday sent to Laikipia County to lead operations on illegal grazers behind the killing of a British rancher.

This came as the government said 379 illegal grazers had been arrested in the area and were being processed as part of efforts to ensure stability there.

The British government called on Kenya to beef up security in the area where Mr Tristan Voorspuy, a dual Kenyan/British national, was found dead at the Sosian ranch, which he co-owns.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery said the government had taken appropriate measures to ensure illegal grazers are removed and keep the raider away from private farms and ranches.

“Additional security personnel have been deployed in operations to flush out illegal grazers and recover stolen livestock,” said Nkaissery.

He addressed the press in Nairobi accompanied by his tourism colleague Najib Balala and environment’s Judy Wakhungu as they moved to assure international tourists visiting the region that conservancies and ranches are safe for safari.

Voorspuy had ventured out on a horseback to visit a site on the ranch where two cottages had been set ablaze when he was killed Sunday. His body was moved to Nairobi yesterday.

British High Commissioner to Kenya Mr Nic Hailey said he was “deeply saddened by the murder.”

“I welcome the clear commitment at the highest levels to tackle the situation, and continue to urge the Kenyan authorities to take all necessary steps urgently to restore law and order, and to protect life and property in the area,” said Hailey.

He said he and other international partners, had repeatedly conveyed to the Kenyan authorities over the past months the United Kingdom’s deep concern at the situation in parts of Laikipia.

On his side, Nkaissery who was accompanied by Inspector General of police Joseph Boinnet said illegal grazers had been cleared from 16 ranches including Segera, Olmaisor, Ngano, Olenaishu, Tango-Maos, Impala, Ol-Jogi, Ngaruo and Kifuko.

The CS said some private land owners had declined support from security agencies and prefer instead to negotiate directly with communities and added government supports the move as long as there is peace and security.

He linked the conflict in Laikipia, Baringo and Elgeyo Marakwet to drought which has led to pressure on scarce pasture and water resources.

“Criminal elements have taken advantage to engage in cattle rustling, poaching and commit murders of citizen and even security officers.”

He accused some local political leaders of contributing to the tension by making inflammatory statements and inciting locals to illegally occupy private property.

He said Muhoro was in Laikipia to investigate and arrest those financing the activities at large.

“Watch this space. They will be arrested soon and face the rule of law,” he warned.

He said a major security operation will be launched in Laikipia to rid of the grazers. In Marakwet and Baringo, he argued an operation that was launched last week is bearing fruits and added four new camps have been established.

Voorspuy, a former British army officer, was riding on a horse to inspect the damage at one of the lodges that was torched last Friday by bandits when he was killed.

He died on the spot and it took hours for his body to be collected since there were fears the bandits were still lurking in the bushes. Nkaissery said they waited for arrival of officers from scenes of crime before picking up the body amid reports officers feared to venture there.

On Saturday, a police helicopter was shot at in the same farm as security officers carried out aerial surveillance where illegal grazers and bandits have continued to wreak havoc.

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