A British man was on Sunday shot dead during his private ranch invasion in Laikipia, northern Kenya.
The victim was Tristan Voorspuy, a father of two and a British cavalry veteran who ran a company called Offbeat Safaris.
He was shot dead after he went to inspect the remains of a friend’s home that had been burnt down by herders a few days earlier, one of the eyewitnesses told reporters.
Reports from an eyewitness who pleaded anonymity for security reasons said that Voorspuy rode out on a horse and did not return, prompting two of his neighbors and workers to spread out and look for him.
The workers found the horse with gunshot wounds in the leg and later found the man’s lifeless body in front of his friend’s house.
Sarah Korere, a member of parliament for Laikipia North, said the violent ranch invasion is being stoked by politicians seeking votes from particular ethnic blocs in national elections scheduled for August 2017.
“Some guys will be in a hurry to displace certain communities so they don’t vote. We can say the violence is going to get worse,” said Korere.
“Some politicians are using this issue of land to woo the voters.”
The British High Commissioner has so far not released any comments on the death of the man.
In February, similar attacks occurred in Laikipia prompting the evacuation of 15 foreign tourists after herders invaded ranches and other conservancies in the area.
Hundreds of heavily armed riot policemen were sent to guard the area but they were not enough, one of the residents said.
“Residents are regularly shot at by people who are invading farms or raiding cattle or forming what seems to be a militia.”
“We’ve been expecting this (killing) for some time.”
Korere and some other eyewitnesses have called on the government to act fast in order to stop the situation from getting any worse.
Kenya has been known historically for ethnic clashes and political violence. With the general election around the corner and many contestants vying for different political positions, there is sure to be some violence somewhere, hopefully not on the scale previosuly witnessed.