Maa elders warn politicians against linking exercise to 2022 politics

Wednesday, September 4th, 2019 00:00 |
Nominated MP David ole Songok (left) with Maasai elders in Narok, yesterday. Photo/PD/RAPHAEL MUNGE

Maasai Council of Elders yesterday urged the government to evict all illegal settlers in the Mau Complex before engaging in compensation negotiations. 

They also cautioned politicians to delink 2022 politics from the exercise.

More than 20 elders from the community condemned politicians who were attempting to politicise the eviction and holding the government to ransom over compensation claims.

Spokesman Joseph ole Karia said Mau conservation had nothing to do with communities or tribes living within and around the complex.

“Human activity has continued to degrade the forest, which serves as a catchment area to many rivers. It must be checked or else there will be no water flowing downstream. If those living here worsen the situation, then let the government act without hindrance,” he said.

Resettlement plan

The elders called upon the government to use its machinery to trace State officials who colluded with individuals to sell huge swathes of the forest. 

Speaking in the Maasai Mau where security forces were conducting the eviction exercise, the elders emphasised importance of preserving the catchment area.

Five ranches within the Maasai Mau are said to have cleared up to 27,000 hectares in the last two years leading to further loss of forest cover

Meanwhile, the government is mulling over a resettlement plan for Maasai Mau evictees, Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya has said. 

Speaking to People Daily on phone yesterday, Natembeya said “the government is working on something” in what appears as a change of tack. - James Magayi, Peter Leshan and Noah Cheploen

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