Cherargei urges Uhuru to declare position on Mau
Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei now wants President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto come out publicly and state their stance on contentious Maasai Mara Trust Land which is allegedly part of Mau forest water catchment area.
At the same time, Cherargei has accused the two leaders of reneging on their pre-election promises to resettle and compensate all families inside and around the Mau forest.
“I demand that the President comes clean and states his position on this matter.
We shall not keep on speculating on whether his promise to those voters in Mau Trust land has changed,” he told a press conference at Parliament Buildings yesterday.
“He must tell Kenyans the exact position of government in regards to the Phase two of the Mau forest complex,” he said.
The Nandi senator said there has been contradictory reports from various State officers and political leaders; as such the president and his deputy need to make it clear to the public their position on Mau Forest complex.
“It should not be that some state officers are acting for their own selfish interests, the President must speak on this issue,” he observed.
He claims there exists no Cabinet memo that okayed eviction of more than 60,000 families as alleged by Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko.
Cherargei, who is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Justice, Legal and Human Rights held that even though politicians understand the importance of conservancy efforts ion water towers, Mau evictions must be done within the law and observing the basic rights.
He has proposed a formation of a taskforce to address forest evictees and land injustices.
“We are summoning the Environment CS and the Kenya Forest Service to appear before our committee next week on Wednesday to explain their plans regarding this eviction. We cannot just sit here and close our eyes to what is happening to our people,” he said.
Meanwhile, some leaders have urged politicians to embrace dialogue in the Mau evictions standoff. Speaking separately, former Roads minister Franklin Bett and a Kericho politician Charles Langat urged politicians to tone down on rhetoric and instead dialogue with all the stakeholders on Mau matters.
“Politicians should stop chest thumping, name-calling and embrace dialogue on the Mau issue. This is the way to go in addressing this emotive matter,” said Bett.
The former minister claimed the targeted families were not living on the forest land but trust land that was sold to them by the local community in what he termed as willing buyer willing seller way.
“I am asking the Lands Ministry to come out and tell Kenyans whether the land title deeds are fake or genuine in Mau area as a matter of urgency,” said Bett
The duo also lauded the government for rescinding its decision to evict families including school going children who were set to sit the national examination in less than two months from now.
“We have to sit and talk with all those concern in this matter and see how best to help the people targeted for evictions because it is wrong and inhuman to evict the affected people and fail to compensate or find an alternative land for settlement,” said Langat yesterday in Kericho town. Hillary Mageka and Philip Yegon