A section of Members of the National Assembly and Senate drawn from South Rift had to cut their recess to hold a private meeting today in Parliament Buildings to discuss the contentious Mau Forest Eviction that is set to kick off just before or during the Census process.
Journalists were not allowed to attend the meeting or take pictures of the two-hour event that took place between 10:00 am and 12noon.
According to reports from the Maasai Narok, police officers have been deployed to the region ready to evacuate more than ten thousand residents.
According to locals interviewed by the Rift News, the forceful removal that will take place without consultation with area leaders will add the list of IDPs to the approximate 5000 families that still live in tents in Nakuru after they were evicted years back with no compensation or relocation.
The MPs who attended the meeting included Aron Cheruiyot( Kericho), Hillary Koske(Kipkelion West), Nelson Koech (Belgut), Brighton Yegon (Konoin), Liza Chelule (Nakuru Woman Rep), Gideon Keter (Nominated), Joseph Tanui (Kuresoi South), Joseph Limo (Kipkelion East), Beatrice Kones (Bomet East), Florence Tapnyolei (Kericho Woman Rep), Ronald Tonui (Bomet Central) among others.
In attendance were Caleb Kositany (Soy) and Cornelius Serem (Aldai).
The conspicuously absent were Bomet Senator Christopher Langat, Japhet Mutai (Bureti), Gideon Koskei (Chepalungu), Moses Cheboi (Kuresoi North), Joyce Korir (Bomet Woman Rep), Sylvanus Martim (Ainamoi) and Dominic Koskei (Sotik).
According to our cloak-and-dagger source, the MPs faulted politicization of the process kept that the lives of the “intruders” are equally important to forest conservation and therefore, prior to eviction, the government should come up with an elaborate compensation or relocation plan.
“ To avoid creating of unwarranted humanitarian crisis, there is need for the government to revisit the decision it made in October 2018 and announce in public the measures it has put in place to relocate and compensate the victims instead of leaving the weighty issue in the hands of agents of politics and malicious intentions” anonymous leader said
Some argued that the persons targeted are not living in Mau forest complex but are wanted to vacate the Maasai community land in the name of protecting the shrinking and endangered water tower.
They also said that Narok County Government should be given a chance to clear the air on the issue instead of people whose motives are not good are only allowed to stir cohesion and harmony.
The MPs also discussed Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s 2009 Taskforce report that was handed to the government revealing that the twenty-five powerful individuals own 500 hectares of Mau forest.
They included former President Moi’s son Gideon Moi, Baringo Central MP Sammy Mwaita, who was at the time the Commissioner of Lands, a former presidential aide Joshua Kulei, former nominated MP Mark Too among others.
The allocations started in 1996 with the intention of resettling the forest-dwelling Ogiek community and families displaced in the ethnic clashes.