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Laikipia rancher in fear after reservists manning her farm are disarmed

A  Rancher in Laikipia County has expressed fear for her life after two National Police Reservists (NPR) stationed at her farm were ordered to hand over their guns by authorities.

The move comes two days after another security officer at the ranch was shot and critically wounded by unknown assailants.

Lucy  Jennings said that she feared for her life after the two were ordered to surrender the weapons for ballistic examination after the shooting of Samwel Lokurchan, the chief security officer on Friday night.

She  said she felt exposed to attacks considering that in November last year, three other NPRs manning her vast ranch were also directed to surrender their guns and they are yet to be re-armed.

Lokurchan is still admitted to Nakuru level five hospital with gun wounds in his hand and stomach.

Security officers in Laikipia West are in pursuit of illegal grazers believed to have been behind the shooting of the security guard at his house in Location area within Rumuruti town.

According to his wife, Esther Asimiti, the invaders accused her husband of denying them access to graze at the farm before firing at him twice.

He was rushed to Rumuruti sub county hospital for first aid before he was taken to Nyahururu hospital where he was again referred to Nakuru Level five hospital where he is currently admitted.

The  Laikipia County Commissioner (CC), Onesmus Kyatha said security agencies had been placed on high alert to ward off any incidences of banditry and armed conflicts.

“We have dispatched enough police officers in the affected areas since we are aware some of the pastoralists invading private ranches are armed. No grazer will be allowed to invade private land,” the county Commissioner said.

Meanwhile ranchers in the county have accused illegal grazers of invading their farms and destroyed property worth millions of shillings.

Martin  Evans, the Chairman of the ranchers said that the affected ranches, include Jennings farm in Rumuruti, Mugie, Suiyan, OlMaissor and Laikipia Nature and Conservancy among others.

Hundreds of herders reportedly from the neighboring Samburu, Baringo and Isiolo counties have migrated into Laikipia County in search of pasture and water for their animals.

Jennings said the herders have destroyed hundreds of acres at her 2,000 hectares ranch.

“They have invaded my farm with their livestock and some of them have even constructed shelters at my farm,” complained Jennings.

She has since appealed to the Government to help in driving away the herders out of private ranches.

By  Martin Munyi

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