Residents of Rumuruti in Laikipia County are now living in fear following the shooting of a National Police Reservist (NPR) last Friday by suspected herders reportedly over grazing land.
The criminals, believed to be herders from Samburu and Isiolo counties are feared to be in possession of illegal firearms which may be used to terrorize residents.
According to the reservist’s wife, Esther Asimiti, the invaders accused her husband, Samuel Lokurchan, of denying them access to graze at the farm before firing at him twice leaving him with serious injuries and fleeing away.
John Mwangi, a resident and also a farmer in Laikipia West said that they fear that the conflict between farmers and pastoralists over grazing land which have been experienced in the past may recur following the drought that has been experienced in the country.
“If nothing is done we now see the conflict that led to deaths in the past between the farmers in Laikipia and the herders reviving,” said Mwangi
Another inhabitant who sought anonymity said that they will be forced to watch illegal grazers feed their animals on their crops in fear of illegal grazers who have invaded parts of Laikipia in search of pasture.
“If a police reservist who has a firearm can be shot while in his home, how about those of us who only depend on the security agencies to protect us.
“We will be forced to watch herders graze on our crops as we don’t know what may follow after a confrontation with grazers, “said the inhabitant
The reservist is said to have been shot on his right hand and stomach at his house in Location area within Rumuruti town after three suspected bandits raided his home.
The area chief, Samuel Tum has however asked the residents to remain calm as the police did their investigations.
“Though nobody has been arrested following the Friday incident, the police have a crucial lead and once through investigations, those who committed the heinous act will be brought into book,” said the chief.
By David Njoroge