BY GERALD GEKARA – Even as politics take center stage surrounding the long overdue eviction of Mau forest settlers, families have begun voluntarily moving out of the Mau forest.
This according to locals in the area is out of the fear for their lives as ‘forceful evictions last time led to the torching of houses and severe beating on dwellers. So far 4000 security personnel have been deployed in the area ahead of the planned second phase of the evictions in the vast Nkareta areas, Narok County.
“Last time we tried defending our valid land, the Kenya Forest Service officials descended on us badly. Out of the love for our families, we will peacefully vacate the forest,” a settler at Nkareta, Narok County.
The area which is mainly occupied by the indigenous Ogiek and Maasai communities is expected to be cleared of the human settlements who have been reported to have been encroaching the forest illegally.
However, Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, who has been on the ‘victims’ sides defending locals from the evictions, requested the residents to stay put. He faulted the Environment CS Keriako Tobiko for the evictions, alleging that he has been politically compromised to inflict suffering to valid title deed owners.
On the other side Kajiado Governor Joseph Ole Lenku and his counterparts; Kajiado Senator Philip Mpaayei, his Narok counterpart Ledama Ole Kina yesterday held a press briefing to affirm their support for the eviction.