Tobiko Criticised Over Delays to Evict Mau Forest’s ‘Big Fish’

The Kiptagich tea estate and factory. Inset: Retired president Daniel arap Moi. Photos/FILE
Former President Moi’s Kiptagich Tea Estate in Mau. Photo/File

Environment CS Keriako Tobiko, on Tuesday, came under heavy criticism from a section of Kenyans over his delays in evicting large scale landowners from the country’s largest water tower, Mau forest.

While appearing before the National Assembly’s Committee on Environment, Tobiko was asked by the committee chair, Kareke Mbiuki, why he was only concentrating on the common citizens at the expense of other large scale owners in the tower.

Image result for kEriako tobiko in Mau
Environment CS Keriako Tobiko. Photo/File

“We have some difficulties as to why you are targeting common mwananchi yet it is clear that the who is who owns land in forests. They should be the first casualties to be evicted,” posed Kareke.

On his defence, the CS promised the committee that there will be “no sacred cow” who will be spared, adding that he will give notice to all other settlers who according to him will be evicted in the third phase.

Former President Daniel Moi, who was adversely mentioned, is among the prominent people cited by the committee as owning huge chunks of land in the water catchment area.

Moi owns Kiptagich tea estate and factory that sits on 2,223.945 acres.

The committee members present included vice-chairperson, Sophia Abdi, and members Beatrice Kones (Bomet), Hulufo Hassan (Isiolo North), Benjamin Washiali (Mumias East) and Hillary Kosgei (Kipkelion West) among many other MPs.

Maasai Mau Forest at Total area
An aerial view of Total, a section of the Maasai Mau Forest, where settlers have cut down trees to create farmland.

It is, however, his sentiments that the large scale owners will be evicted in the third phase that kept most Kenyans wondering if the CS was indeed genuine in his promises.

Some wondered if the said ‘tycoons’ were so special than other Kenyans to warrant their exclusions from the second phase of evictions. Here are the comments.

Cornelius Slay King the Kiptagich Tea Zone is situated right in the Mau forest, but the owner Moi is immune to evictions. I think evictions belongs only to the poor

Seif Arap Sindano Tell that to the birds! how many times have we seen the small fish suffer at the expense of the Sharks???! Danganya Toto!

Allanoh Captain Poor strategy. The big fish use the omenas as a shield. Kick the big fish first, and once you succeed, no one will politicize this exercise when you go for the small fish. The politicians will be having nothing left to protect.

Knarftu Kirk If Moi’s land will be among those to be reverted back to forest land ndio tutajua hii Mau eviction is not political otherwise we know it is a fight against William Ruto His Excellency Kipchirchir Samoei PhD

Nyaga Michael Start with the big fish then come evict the common dwellers. Tobiko owns 23
107Ha as per Ntutu report

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