Mau Forest evictions to continue, court rules


Mau Forest evictions to continue, court rules
Aerial view of the Mau Forest

In Summary

  • The court instead ordered the case be heard by a three judge bench.
  • Prof. Chepkwony wanted the court to grant conservatory orders barring destruction of property and evictions pending hearing and determination of his petition.

The Environment and Land Court in Narok County has declined to stop the Mau Forest evictions in a case filed by Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony.

Justice Mohammed Kullow instead referred the file to Chief Justice David Maraga for him to constitute a three or five judge bench to hear the petition.

In his decision, Justice Kullow noted that the matter is of national importance.

Governor Chepkwony  filed the case in his private capacity as a citizen and on behalf of the alleged private land owners at Mau Forest.

Through advocate Peter Wanyama, Prof. Chepkwony wanted 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.

The Governor says 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.

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Story By Mary Lolchoki
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