Update to my The Daily Beast story Who Killed This Man Who Saved So Many Rhinos and Elephants?
On February 4th, 76 year-old wildlife conservationist Esmond Bradley Martin was found slaughtered in his mansion in Langata, a posh residential enclave in Nairobi.
The “knife” that police and media had described as the murder weapon was more likely a panga, the Swahili word for a machete.
A source close to the investigation later told The Daily Beast that Martin had been “tortured and brutally murdered”. The source added that of all the motives land was strongest. At the time Martin had been involved in a dispute over several acres near his estate.
One acre lots in Langata are on the market for upwards of $500,000. Martin owned over 20 acres. A neighbor said he was trying to buy more “as a buffer”.
Langata residents, including Martin, were strenuously opposed the construction of a church on a lot beside Martin’s property. A Stop Order from Karen Langata District Association (KLDA) was sent on February 6th to Internal Security and Coordination Cabinet Secretary Fred Okengo Matiang’i Matiang’i and former Commissioner of Lands Zablon Mabea. The politicians are registered as owners of the one-acre land L.R No 11914/72 along Mukoma Rd.
While those mentioned in the stop order are not the main focus of the murder investigation, according to my source, “their involvement cannot be ruled out”.