News 2008


Rift Valley MPs reject eviction notice for Mau squatters


By Isaac Ongiri


Some MPs from the Rift Valley have rejected the Government’s eviction order for squatters in Mau Forest.

The ten MPs warned the Government against implementing resolutions arrived at the stakeholders consultative meeting in Nairobi on Tuesday.

Led by Chepalungu MP Isaac Ruto, the legislators on Wednesday said they were not part of the deliberations because they were not consulted.

“We reject any un-negotiated resolutions,” said Kipkelion MP Magerer Langat, who read the joint statement.

They said alternative settlement must be negotiated before ultimatums can be issued.

Bureti MP Franklin Bett left the Press conference venue after they arrived together, keeping his colleagues waiting in vain.

One MP asked, “Ano Franklin?” (Where is Franklin?) “Kakobet!”, the others answered (he has disappeared).

One MP claimed some colleagues were afraid of commenting on the matter for fear of being judged politically incorrect.

Magerer said Cabinet Minister William Ruto’s support for Government plans and his presence at the talks should not be seen as the region’s endorsement of the resolutions.

Ruto, who single-handedly opposed the resolutions as read at KICC on Wednesday, said leaders from the region and the affected squatters would demand a sustainable plan, which would not cause human suffering.

“Any attempt to force people out of the Mau in a criminalised manner would be opposed,” he said.

The MPs said though it was important to rescue Mau water catchment area, it was crucial to have an acceptable means of conflict resolution instead of “dictatorial ultimatums.”

MPs Sammy Mwaita (Baringo East), Joshua Kutuny (Cherengany), Elijah Lang’at (Emgwen), Benjamin Lang’at (Ainamoi) and Perris Simam (Eldoret South) were present.