By Hans Victor
The Mau issue shall always be a red-hot issue in the politics of the Rift Valley and also in the push for the conservation of the environment. However, as these battles go on, it is the innocent poor that shall always suffer. Environmental conservationists will say that the Mau Complex has been encroached and the water catchment area is drying up. Which is very factual. Residents of areas surrounding the Mau Forest Complex will attest to the changing weather patterns, with the areas receiving lesser rainfall every year.
Politicians and community leaders would say that the Mau issue is political and ethnic profiling. Which is also very weighty and could be true. How else can one explain the discussion always arising when political temperatures are so high, and especially during stiff competitions for the presidential elections? It seems to most onlookers that the Mau political card thought that it would be pulled off when it is thought that it shall disadvantage a candidate who is preferred by the affected poor electorates but isn’t favored by the system. So the cycle continues, the suffering of the poor, innocent Kenyans used as pawns by the system continues.
So, to my question; who really is destroying the Mau Forest?
This is a very controversial question, but so is the lives of many innocent Kenyans including hopeless children being destroyed by killing their future, their dreams and aspirations, their source of livelihoods. The people being inhumanely evicted “kama paka na panya” are paying the price for the sins of what the former Prime Minister H.E Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga referred to as “mbuta.” They have encroached the Mau forest and destroyed the forest cover.
Some of them are coming out prominently with the pretext of fighting for the evictees. The Moi family, former Kuresoi South MP Zakayo Cheruiyot, former Baringo Central MP and NLC Commissioner Sammy Mwaita are among the greatest encroachers of the Mau Forest. Sammy Mwaita, as one of the Commissioners in the National Land Commissioner used his past position to allocate himself and some of the Rift Valley bigwig’s big chunks of land in the forest. Why are the poor being targeted while these so called big fish are left untouched, let alone being mentioned?
The other destroyer perhaps Africa’s largest water catchment area is the Elburgon based Timsales Company owned by the Head of State, President Uhuru Kenyatta. The logging company has destroyed almost the entire Mau forest and no one is talking about it. No leader has come out to openly criticize this yet it is an open secret. Not even when there was a directive of no logging for ninety days did Timsales halt its destruction of the Mau Forest. Tim sales Company is so outrageous that whey cut down trees they transport everything including the tree branches and twigs. The same company has laid off its workers that business in Elburgon is on its knees. Financial institutions including Equity Bank have closed down business due to loss of customers.
Why should Kenyans suffer because there are some people destroying the environment and the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent Kenyans, whose only crime is being poor and gullible voters, because a few people are assumably untouchables?