Showdown Looms As Mau Evictions Set To Kick-off Again

Phase two of Mau evictions is set to continue on Monday following the expiry of the ultimatum given to the families still living in the forest land.

The government on September halted the evictions to allow for the school going children to sit for their KCPE exams.

The period for the voluntary exodus from the Mau forest expired on Thursday, October 31.

Families vacating the Mau forest.

However, the looming forceful eviction to families yet to vacate the forest has attracted massive opposition from a section of Rift Valley leaders.

On Thursday, the leaders, led by Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony, Senate Majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen, Emurua Dikir MP Johana Ng’eno among others, asked the government to shelve the eviction plan until families get an alternative shelter.

In a joint statement that was read by Governor Chepkwony, the leaders scolded the government for subjecting its people into an inhuman condition.

A joint security enforcement team destroys a structure in Maasai Mau forest on July 8, 2018, during Mau evictions.

“Away from the attention of the media, human rights defenders and citizens of Kenya, a humanitarian crisis of monumental proportion is escalating in Narok South.

Innocent citizens are being targeted to be subjected to deliberate abuse, torture, discrimination, humiliation and other atrocious crimes by the security officers of the government of Kenya,” said Chepkwony of the joint statement.

Also, the leaders slammed the government for ignoring them despite numerous attempts to find an amicable solution on the matter.

“We have written to the president seeking audience over this matter but we are yet to receive any response.

We are shocked by ongoing operations of unarmed citizens being carried out by a legitimate government in Narok south. This is completely unacceptable heinous and criminal…” added Chepkwony.

The leaders also claimed that the Executive arm of the government has intimidated the judiciary against issuing any order that contravenes the operation.

The leaders’ statement comes at a time when the government is set to launch its ambitious plan of planting 10 million trees at the Mau forest.

On Friday, it is reported that Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko will lead the first phase of planting 50,000 tree seedlings in the forest.

It is not yet clear the number of families that are yet to vacate the forest but a humanitarian crisis is in the offing given that the majority of those who vacated voluntarily claimed they had nowhere to go.

Nevertheless, the government has maintained its stand on the operation saying families residing on the forest land have no option but to vacate.


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