Laikipia – A series of invasions of farms in Kenya’s Laikipia County highlight the tensions around Tuesday’s presidential election that many worry may set off more deadly violence.
For more than a year farms and homes in Laikipia County have been under siege. The invaders, generally semi-nomadic livestock herders, say they have been forced by a severe drought to drive their cattle onto privately owned ranches.
But many farmers say they believe the land invasions are politically motivated. They say some politicians are inciting the hundreds of herders to invade and displace thousands of farmers, both black and white, to help win local elections. Some of the herders claim they have ancestral rights to the land which pre-date the ownership of the farms which started under British colonial rule.