Nairobi, July 16 – Unknown assailants shot and killed environment activist Joannah Stutchbury, 67, outside her home near the Windsor Country Club in the outskirts of the Kenyan capital late on Thursday, the Star newspaper reported.
Logs and trees branches were used to block the street as she drove home and the assailants shot her four times. Neighbours found her body in the car with the engine still running.
Stutchbury was involved in a campaign to save the nearby Kiambu Forest from encroachment by squatters and other land grabbers.
The newspaper report said that Stutchbury had allegedly been threatened by an individual opposed to her efforts to stop the encroachment of the forestland, which is situated in an area considered prime for the construction of high-end homes.
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta condemned Stutchbury’s killing and lauded her efforts to protect Kiambu Forest.
“For the longest time, Joannah has been a steadfast champion for the conservation of our environment and is remembered for her relentless efforts to protect Kiambu Forest from encroachment,” said Kenyatta in a statement.
Stutchbury’s murder is second of a conservationist in recent years. In 2018, Esmond Bradley Martin, a Kenyan-based American conservationist whose investigations of the elephant ivory and rhino horn trade were seen as critical in efforts to protect the threatened species, was found stabbed to death in his home in Nairobi. His murder remains unresolved.