Archive 2003

Tuesday, March 25, 2003 

State might rethink move on forests, court told

By NATION Reporter 

The government is considering revoking a decision to excise parts of key forest land countrywide, a court heard yesterday.

State lawyer Muthoni Kimani said consultations were going on over the government decision to alter boundaries involving 175, 000 acres.

She told Chief Justice Evans Gicheru she needed more time to get further instructions from the Chief Conservator of Forests, Mr Gideon Gathara.

The case brought by three NGOs was expected to start before two judges yesterday, but was mentioned before the CJ for directions.

The government announced in a Kenya Gazette notice of October 10, 2001 that it intended to excise parts of Kapsaret, Nabkoi, Eastern Mau, South Nandi, Mr Lodiani, Molo, Northern Tinderet, Mt Kenya, Marmanet and Western Mau forests. 

But the Kenya Alliance of Residents Associations, the East African Wildlife Society, the Environment Liaison Centre, Mr Lumumba Odenda and Mr James Akim went to court to block the move.

Mr Justice Richard Kuloba issued temporary orders stopping the minister for Environment from interfering with the current forest boundaries.

The orders were also directed at the Commissioner of Lands, the Chief Lands Registrar, the Principal Registrar of Titles and the Directors of Physical Planning and Survey.

Lawyer Stephen Mwenesi, for the applicants, argued that any boundary alterations would affect crucial water catchment areas. The case will be mentioned on May 8.

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