News 2008


Donít incite Mau settlers, Ruto told


By Vincent Bartoo

17. 07. 2008

A Cabinet minister has accused two colleagues of inciting Mau Forest settlers to resist eviction.

Forestry and Wildlife Minister Noah Wekesa said the two ministers politicised the issue.

Dr Wekesa said Mr William Ruto (Agriculture) and Mr Henry Kosgey (Industrialisation) should educate their people on the dangers of their continued stay in the forest.

"I wonder why my two colleagues are not telling you this and are instead inciting you against the same Government they are serving," he said.

Wekesa said it was wrong for the ministers to discuss the matter when an inter-ministerial task force had been formed to handle it.

He said Ruto and Kosgey were aware that destruction of the forest could lead to the drying up of 11 rivers, affecting the lives of four million people.

"If I cannot educate my people about such grave consequences, I should not even be called a leader," Wekesa said.

He reminded the two that they were in Government when the Mau destruction was taking place 15 years ago.

"They should be helping us clean up their mess instead of fighting efforts by President Kibaki and their leader Raila Odinga to correct things," he said.

The minister spoke in Eldoret as a group which took the Government to court in 2001 to stop the Mau destruction also hit out at the two ministers.

The group led by the Narc-Kenya chairman of the Business and Professional League, Mr Kipkorir Menjo, said the ministers should be bound by Governmentís collective responsibility.

"They should know that they are in Government," said Menjo.

He said the Government should investigate those inciting Mau settlers against planned evacuation.

Menjo alleged that some politicians had formed bogus land buying companies that irregularly sold the land to unsuspecting Narok South residents.

"They led these people on the wrong path yet they are now pretending to be their saviours. This is hypocritical," he said.