Why Mau Eviction is the last Straw before the Collapse of Jubilee

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Police officers patrol in Mau Forest. PHOTO: Courtesy

With Government machinery already on the ground to conduct the highly politicised Mau evictions, the move could trigger a major political divorce right in the middle of the ruling Jubilee Government.

Politicians drawn from Deputy President Dr William Ruto’s turf Sunday voiced their reservations on the impending Mau evictions saying the move was not consultative.

However, Narok senator Ledama ole Kina rebutted the claims, urging Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko to proceed.

The evictions which are projected to affect over 60,000 people including 4000 students have seen the Parliamentary committee summon CS Tobiko.

Speaking to the media, Kericho senator Aaron Cheruiyot urged the Mau settlers to stay put and defy the government directive on their eviction.

He said President Uhuru Kenyatta had made a personal commitment to the Mau settlers during the 2017 elections, and that he should make his stand known before the forest encroachers are evicted.

Since Mau Forest complex was gazetted as a Forest reserve in 1954, the area has been encroached by settlers from Bomet, Kericho and Narok counties.

It is understood that powerful leaders of group ranches have illegally subdivided the land over the years and sold it.

CS Tobiko who has since stated that he will have to restore the Mau Forest complex to its original state has been dismissed by the angry Rift Valley leaders as carrying out a personal directive rather than a government-sanctioned eviction.

The move further complicates an already strained relationship between President Kenyatta and his Rift Valley voters.

Thursday when the President landed from a trade conference in Japan, reports emerged of an incident where Nandi governor Stephen Sang was among the unexpected guests to welcome Kenyatta.

Photographers were ordered to delete the photos of Kenyatta and Sang, ostensibly from the fact that the controversial governor is a man under investigations.

Whether Keriako would appear before the Kareke Mbiuki-led team is subject of another discussion. However, from his statement to newsrooms, the CS could be in for some real hard talk.

“As a committee we will be inviting the CS next week when parliament resumes, to come and shed more light to parliament on the proposed phase II evictions before the exercise is conducted,” the statement read in part.





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