By Eric Matara And Suleiman Mbatiah
Illegal grazers believed to be from Baringo on Wednesday burnt down a lodge situated in the 100,000-acre Laikipia Nature Conservancy in Laikipia West.
The herders reportedly forced themselves to the ranch and burnt down the Mukutan Retreat Lodge, which is owned by Kuki Gallman, a renowned Italian-born Kenyan conservationist.
The attack comes in the wake of a joint operation by the Kenya Defence Forces and the police in the area aimed at recovering firearms held illegally and flushing out herders who have invaded private land, ranches and conservancies.
According to Gallman’s daughter Sveva Makena, they burnt down the lodge situated on the hilly Western edge of Laikipia plateau overlooking Lake Baringo in what is believed to be retaliation over the ongoing operation in the county.
There were no visitors at the time of the attack at the lodge, which is mostly visited by tourists from Europe.