UK envoy Marriott regrets Nanyuki fire, says soldier’s Snapchat post to be probed

High Commissioner Jane Marriott/ COURTESY

UK High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriott has apologised over the fire in Nanyuki.

“We’re really sorry for what has happened, doing all we can to mitigate the circumstances and put in place measures to make sure it never happens again.,” Marriott said on Friday

She also expressed “great disappointment” at a social media post in which a British soldier said they caused the fire in Laikipia and killed an elephant.

The soldier was referring to a fire at the Lolldaiga military training area in Nanyuki, Laikipia county, in which more than 8,000 acres of pasture have gone up in flames.

The unnamed soldier took to Snapchat on March 20, 2021 to post the message: “Two months in Kenya later and we’ve only got eight days left. Been good, caused a fire, killed an elephant and feel terrible about it but hey-ho, when in Rome.”

The post has since elicited uproar from Kenyans online, coming on the back of news of yet another fire that reportedly started on Wednesday and killed five elephants.

Marriott said the post by the soldier is highly regrettable and will be investigated internally.

“I’ve seen that Snapchat account and I’m utterly appalled…I think that is outrageous and I’m very disappointed that a British soldier would post that. It is being investigated. There will be an internal British investigation by the Royal Military Police,” Marriott told Citizen TV in an interview.

The fire broke out on Wednesday near a venue where British soldiers were undergoing training.

There were claims that the inferno had resulted in the deaths of wild animals, including five elephants and old lions that could not outrun the fire.

In its statement, the High Commission acknowledged that among the issues being probed were the animal deaths.

Kenya Wildlife Service on Friday, however, dismissed claims that five elephants and a calf had been killed in a fire that broke out at Loldaiga Ranch in Laikipia County.

You have successfully subscribed to the newsletter

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

The Brief will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.