The forthcoming Second phase of Mau evictions will not spare anyone,Narok County Commissioner (CC) Samuel Kimiti has said
Speaking to the press in his office,Kimiti reiterated that anyone who is illegally settled in Mau forest must be prepared to leave and urged the illegal squatters to leave voluntarily instead of waiting to be evicted.
“The issue is about restoration of Mau forest which belongs to the state,” Kimiti said.
He also called on all those who might have bought land in Maasai Mau to come forward and help in the investigations.
Two weeks ago, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Forestry (CS), Keriako Tobiko visited Narok and stated that the impending second phase of Mau forest restoration will not be negotiable.
The Department of Public Prosecutions is investigating several individuals who are alleged to have encroached on Maasai Mau forest and hived for themselves a whopping 35,000 acres of the forest. The state also cancelled over 1,200 title deeds in Mau forest which were acquired through scrupulous channels.
County Commissioner’s sentiments have been supported by a section of Maasai elders led by former County Council Chairmen; Kelena Ole Nchoe and Narok North MP Mointalel Ole Kenta.
Speaking in Narok Town,the elders lashed out at a section of Rift Valley MPs who met in Nakuru last weekend to apparently plan how to stop the eviction, saying Mau forest eviction was not about tribes but saving this vital water tower and lives that depend on it.
On Monday this week, the Rift Valley Regional Coordinator (RC), George Natembeya said that the second phase of Maasai Mau will kick off in two months and they had already deployed sufficient personnel on the ground to carry out the process.
The second phase of the water towers restoration is estimated to affect over 10,000 people including an alleged 8,000 school going children and over 1,000 candidates set to sit their national exams this year.
During the first phase of the eviction in July last year, about 7,700 people were evicted from the forest land which saw over 12,000 acres of the forest reclaimed. It was centered in Reiya group ranch while the second phase has Nkoben, Ilmotiok and Ololunga on the radar. The others are Enokishomi, Enoosokon, Nkaroni and Sisian.
The eviction attracted political undertones with leaders from the Maa and Kalenjin communities in bitter exchange. The Maa leaders wanted the evictions to go on while the Kalenjin leaders want it stopped terming it illegal and inhuman.
The Mau is the largest water tower in the country supporting millions of human life and wildlife in Kenya and beyond,