Kericho Governor Chepkwony in court to stop Mau Forest evictions


Kericho Governor Chepkwony in court to stop Mau Forest evictions
Kericho Governor Prof. Paul Chepkwony. PHOTO| COURTESY

In Summary

  • In the court documents, Governor Chepkwony says he filed the case in his private capacity as a citizen and on behalf of the alleged private land owners.
  • According to the Governor, the evictions that commenced on July 7, 2018 are being conducted illegally and in disrespect of human dignity.
  • He says that the five ranches targeted are pieces of land adjoining the Mau forest and not in the forest as the authorities allege.

Kericho Governor Prof. Paul Chepkwony has filed a suit before the Environment and Land Court in Narok County seeking court intervention in the ongoing Mau forest evictions.

In the court documents, Governor Chepkwony says he filed the case in his private capacity as a citizen and on behalf of the alleged private land owners.

Through advocate Peter Wanyama, Prof. Chepkwony wants the court to grant conservatory orders barring destruction of property and evictions pending hearing and determination of his petition.

According to the Governor, the evictions that commenced on July 7, 2018 are being conducted illegally and in disrespect of human dignity.

He says that the five ranches targeted are pieces of land adjoining the Mau forest and not in the forest as the authorities allege.

“There is no evidence on the ground of surveys or proper inquiry and other process that the respondents may have used to lay basis for the exercise,” reads part of the petition.

According to the petitioner, the Mau Forest evictions are targeting 12,000 alleged settlers out of a possible 60,000 who reside in the 922,300-acre, Maasai Mau Section.

In the petition, the professor says eviction in Reiyo Group Ranch has been completed and the four that are on the spot now are Enakishomi, Sisiyan, Enoosokon and Nkaroni group ranches.

He maintains that the eviction is politically motivated as the attempt in 2005 was stopped by the court, and now the ‘cartels’ are back and want to forcefully take the pieces from their rightful owners.

In the suit, those sued include Cabinet Secretaries Farida Karoney (Lands), Dr. Fred Matiang’i (Interior), Narok County Commissioner George Natembeya, Commandant Administration Police, the National Lands Commission, Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Forest Service, the Attorney General and Nyayo Tea Zones Development Corporation.

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