The body of British expat Tristan Voorspuy, who was shot dead at his ranch in Kenya on Sunday by raiders, has been recovered by police using a helicopter.
Mr Voorspuy was murdered after riding out to check on three houses which had been burnt down after 90,000 cattle were reportedly moved onto the 24,000-acre Susian Ranch in Laikipia by herders.
His friends had been forced to abandon an earlier attempt to recover the body of the 60-year-old former British army officer after they were fired on.
32 people, including smallholders and farm workers have died during the series of violent land invasions so far this year, but South African born Mr Voorspuy, is the first white land owner victim.
Richard Constant, who was one of six shareholders who bought the derelict Sosian ranch with Mr Voorspuy in 2005, said: “We are trying to do good things, be good employers, good citizens and should not be driven off our land. My house was one of those burnt down but I will rebuild it. We will rebuild the ranch.”
Kenya’s most important wildlife conservancies and private farms have been facing “armed incursions” by thousands of herders in the Laikipia county by pastorialists searching for food and water for their livestock.
Despite officials blaming the land invasions on the drought, some ranchers claim the nomadic herders are being supported in the land grabs by local politicians and government officials who own a share of the cattle, in return for votes in August’s elections.