- Title: Central Kenya residents worried ahead of polls as drought fuels violence
- Date: 2nd August 2017
- Summary: LAIKIPIA, KENYA (JULY 24, 2017) (REUTERS) LAIKIPIA PLAINS VARIOUS OF LAIKIPIA FARMER, JOHN KAMAU, PATROLLING HIS LAND VARIOUS OF LAIKIPIA RESIDENT, ANNE NJOKI, DOING HOUSEHOLD CHORES (SOUNDBITE) (Swahili) LAIKIPIA RESIDENT, ANNE NJOKI, SAYING: "When they came to my house, they broke all the doors with their guns, three forced themselves to my bedroom while holding their guns, eight naked people followed those with guns. They were asking where they would find us but we were hiding under our beds and they did not find us. The only thing they did is assault my daughter and my sons. They were all beaten." VARIOUS OF OFFICER COMMANDING POLICE DIVISION, EZEKIEL CHEPKWONI, STANDING OUTSIDE NG'ARUA POLICE STATION SIGN ABOVE POLICE STATION ENTRANCE READING (English): "NG'ARUA POLICE STATION" (SOUNDBITE) (English) OFFICER COMMANDING POLICE DIVISION, EZEKIEL CHEPKWONI, SAYING: "On 12th of this month (July) that was the worst, they committed the worst crime by killing our officers from ASTU (anti stock theft unit) Gilgil including the deputy commandant, who had come to visit officers who are attached at Matweku." LAIKIPIA, KENYA (JULY 26, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF CONSERVANCY RANGERS WALKING VARIOUS OF LAIKIPIA RANCHER, MARIA DODDS, TALKING TO CONSERVANCY RANGERS (SOUNDBITE) (English) LAIKIPIA RANCHER, MARIA DODDS, SAYING: "This is home; we don't have anywhere else to go. We're Kenyans, I'm born here, my husband is born here, I have a Kenyan passport. I don't have anywhere else to go. This is home and people have said to us - 'well, why don't you leave, how did you, how did you put up with getting shot at every single day for three and a half weeks? Well, when you don't have an option. And also, why should it be taken by force? You know there's, you know if you want it, there is a way of, you know, dealing with that. You can't take it by force, that's not the way to do it." VARIOUS OF CONSERVANCY RANGERS PATROLLING LAIKIPIA, KENYA (JULY 26, 2017) (REUTERS) LAIKIPIA PLAINS VARIOUS SHOTS OF PASTORALISTS WALKING THEIR CATTLE DECAYING CATTLE VARIOUS SHOTS OF PASTORALISTS TALKING (SOUNDBITE) (Swahili) LAIKIPIA PASTORALIST, NKILAWAS LEKISAT, SAYING: "I think all of this has come about because of politics, I don't think the owners of the ranches want to move, it's all politics. We would like for them to stay because we get a lot of help from them." NAIROBI, KENYA (RECENT - JULY 27, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF LAIKIPIA MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, MATHEW LEMPURKEL, IN COURT
- Embargoed: 16th August 2017 15:46
- Keywords: Kenya elections Laikipia land grabs Kenya farmers deadly raids
- Location: LAIKIPIA AND NAIROBI, KENYA
- City: LAIKIPIA AND NAIROBI, KENYA
- Country: Kenya
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice,Crime
- Reuters ID: LVA0016SGSLL3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Machete in hand, Kenyan villager John Kamau stalked the rim of Rift Valley, protecting his farm from pastoralists and raiders that he says have been emboldened by upcoming elections.
Six policemen were killed in Kamau's village in July, the latest in a string of deadly attacks in Laikipia county, which has been hit by violence in recent months.
Armed cattle-herders searching for dwindling grazing land as a drought worsens have driven tens of thousands of cattle onto private farms and ranches, fuelling the violence.
Between 40 and 75 percent of Laikipia - the country's second most important wildlife area after the Maasai Mara - is owned by cattle ranches and wildlife conservancies of up to about 100,000 acres.
Now, Laikipia residents say local politicians are encouraging herders to invade private land to win support ahead of August elections and displace those who might vote against them.
Laikipia North's local member of parliament, Mathew Lempurkell, was charged at the chief magistrate's court in Nairobi on Thursday (July 27) with racial contempt and inciting violence against white farmers and other Kenyan communities in the area. Lempurkell pleaded not guilty.
Kenya goes to the polls on August 8.
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