Rancher Stuart Cunningham attacked in Nanyuki land row

Wednesday September 13 2017

A miner crushes rocks with a hammer. A farm

A miner crushes rocks with a hammer. A farm guard allegedly attacked Mr Stuart Cunningham with a hammer in a land dispute in Nanyuki on Wednesday evening. PHOTO | INTI OCON | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By ELIJAH MWANGI

A white rancher is nursing injuries after he was allegedly attacked by a farm guard in land row in Nanyuki.

Police said Mr Stuart Cunningham had visited the farm on Wednesday evening when the guard confronted him and hit his nose with a hammer.

CASE

Former Laikipia East MP Mutahi Kimaru has laid claim to Thornlea Farm, located on the outskirts of Nanyuki town, which Mr Cunningham says he bought in 1994.

The dispute is pending before a Nanyuki court.

Laikipia East police boss James Kithuka confirmed the incident, adding that the assailant was on the run.

Mr Cunningham was treated at Nanyuki Cottage Hospital and discharged.

This is latest attacks stemming from land disputes pitting ranchers against locals in Laikipia County.

100,000 CATTLE

Some ranchers have been killed and others shot and injured in the conflict that escalated during the dry season after herders invaded ranches in search of water and pasture.

The illegal grazers drove over 100,000 cattle, goats and sheep into the expansive farms owned by the foreigners.

By April, four police officers had been shot and injured in confrontations between the herders and security officers in the area.

The shooting of Mr Tristan Voorspuy, owner and founder of Offbeat Safaris Ltd, and that of an expectant mother and her two sons in March, prompted the government to deploy the military in a disarmament exercise also aimed at evicting the illegal grazers from the county.