Don’t politicise Mau evictions,
By Kipchumba Kemei, Steven Mkawale
And Peter Mutai
Cabinet Minister William Ntimama has said environmental concerns
should override political considerations in the protection of Mau
Ntimama, who is also the Narok North MP, said the Government
should evict illegal settlers in the forest to protect millions of
lives, whose survival depends on the water tower.
"Politics should take a back seat and efforts taken to save this
water catchment area. The Government should stop wasting time by
calling unending consultative meetings," he said.
The minister said those with genuine claims should be compensated
or resettled elsewhere.
Meanwhile, debate on the Mau Forest raged on when two MPs clashed
over the intended eviction of squatters.
Molo MP Joseph Kiuna insisted the settlers must leave, while his
Kuresoi colleague Zakayo Cheruiyot, urged the Government to
"People must not be allowed to encroach on water catchment areas,
they must be removed without further delay," said Kiuna.
The two were addressing a baraza in Kuresoi where Special
Programmes Minister Naomi Shaban went to oversee the resettlement
of displaced persons.
But Cheruiyot said there were underlying issues that needed to be
addressed before the eviction.
Elsewhere, Bureti MP Franklin Bett has dismissed claims he is
among beneficiaries of the Mau Forest incision as reported in the
Bett said the ten-hectare land he has in Kuresoi was leased to him
by the forest department.
Speaking to The Standard on telephone, the ODM MP said he bought a
saw mill from Kedowa Saw Mills for logging.
"I was leasing the land from the forest department and bought the
sawmill from timber merchants from Kedowa in the now Kipkelion
District," he said.