Author and conservationist Kuki Gallmann shot in Kenya

Author and conservationist Kuki Gallmann shot in Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya — The Italian-born author and conservationist Kuki Gallmann was shot at her Kenyan ranch and airlifted for treatment after herders invaded in search of pasture to save their animals from drought, officials said Sunday.

Gallmann, known for her bestselling book “I Dreamed of Africa,” which became a movie by the same name starring Kim Basinger, was patrolling the ranch when she was shot in the stomach, local police chief Ezekiel Chepkowny said.

Her driver also survived the attack and drove her to the airport in Laikipia, where she was airlifted to the capital, Nairobi, for further treatment, Chepkowny said.

Richard Constant, the deputy chairman of the Laikipia Farmers Association, said suspicion falls on herders from the Pokot community who have invaded Gallmann’s ranch several times. Lodges belonging to Gallmann were burned by the herders last month.

This East African nation is facing a drought that has affected half the country and has been declared a national disaster.

Herders and large-scale farmers in parts of Kenya’s Rift Valley have been desperately waiting for seasonal rains that were to start last month to ease the drought and conflicts over grazing land in which more than 30 people have died.

Kenya’s military and police have been working to disarm and drive the hundreds of herders and their animals out of ranches they’ve invaded, but their actions appear to have escalated the violence. The Laikipia Farmers Association says when the military and police drive herders from one ranch they move into another.

The association’s deputy chairman has accused politicians campaigning for the August elections of inciting the herders to invade the ranches, saying the owners’ leases have come to an end and that herders can take over the land and distribute it among themselves.

The land invasions started late last year. British national and ranch owner Tristan Voorspuy was killed last month when he went to inspect damage done by the herders on one of his lodges.

Many of the ranches, some of which double as wildlife conservancies, were acquired during the period of British colonial rule, some as early as 1900, according to a government report. Others were purchased after Kenya became independent in 1963.

__________

This version corrects the last name to Gallmannn.

Tom Odula, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Vernon one of Canada’s most dangerous places

Penticton, Kamloops, Kelowna, Lake Country and Salmon Arm also make Maclean’s list

Traci Genereaux: Gone, but not forgotten

COLUMN: Family, friends want justice for Vernon teen

Sagmoen’s court case adjourned again

Curtis Sagmoen will appear back in court on Dec. 14

Woman extricated after single-vehicle crash

Incident took place on Foothill Road in Salmon Arm.

Uber official says public needs to push for ridesharing in B.C.

Mike van Hemmen tells Kelowna Chamber of commerce ridesharing would be ‘win-win-win’

Okanagan ski hills open for the season

Both Big White and Silverstar Resort open for the 2017-18 season Thursday

Four years for discharging shotgun in home, school break-in

Yvon Martel also threatened his wife and broke into an elementary school

An adopted cat is the best 10 pounds you’ll gain this season

BC SPCA encouraging families to add a forever feline friend during adoption event Nov. 24 to Dec. 3

Up close and personal roots performance on Vernon stage

The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society presents William Prince Nov. 29-30

B.C. co-ops relieved with Ottawa’s housing strategy

Federal government to have a new co-operative housing funding model in place by 2020

Letter to the editor: Missing woman’s parents appreciate search effort

To take part in the banner drop, poster distribution and the drone… Continue reading

Investigating effects of wildfires on business

Thompson Okanagan Regional District researching what help is needed after 2017 wildfire season.

Mayor’s column: Be silent no more

Please join us on Dec. 6 at the Salmon Arm Campus of… Continue reading

Column: On stars and sleighs

In the immortal words of Elvis, my hands were shaking and my… Continue reading

Most Read