Kuki Gallmann shot as land invasions surge in Kenya

Kuki Gallmann

Kuki Gallmann was shot at her conservation park in the latest of a string of attacks during land invasions in drought-stricken northern Kenya.

The Italian-born author of the memoir I Dreamed of Africa was shot in the stomach last Sunday after the vehicle she was driving in was ambushed, a family friend said.

Gallmann was going to inspect damage to her property after invaders burned down a retreat there on Saturday. A luxury hotel had already been torched last month.

She was ambushed when she was forced to stop by a tree laid across the road, the friend said. Gallmann was saved when rangers from the Kenya Wildlife Service intervened and fought off the attackers.

Gallmann was flown by helicopter to receive surgery at a hospital in Nairobi.

A wave of violence has hit Kenya’s drought-stricken Laikipia region in recent months as armed cattle-herders searching for scarce grazing land have driven tens of thousands of cattle on to private farms and ranches from poor quality communal land.

Last Monday, the BBC reported that authorities in Kenya arrested an unspecified number of suspects and recovered a gun potentially linked to the shooting.

“We have recovered a gun which is now undergoing ballistic tests to confirm whether it was the gun used to shoot Kuki,” Joseph Nkaissery, Kenya’s interior minister, told a news conference last Monday. He did not say how many suspects had been detained.

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