More cries of families as Mau Forest eviction continues
SEE ALSO :All set for Mau forest evictionsNow Esongori, his wife Purity and their children have been spent three days in the bush after their house was demolished in the forceful eviction at Olmekenyu area. Still missing They say all their household items were destroyed by a group of merciless police officers. But all this is less of their worries now, because two of their children are still missing. Esongori cannot hold back tears as he explains the misery they have been through since evictions started early this month. “We have been sleeping here in the cold, with my wife and children. We have no other place to go and after the officers demolished our house we opted to take cover in the bush with the few belongings left for us,” he says. The family says they had been warned not to be seen anywhere near their home.
SEE ALSO :School reopen as showdown looms in MauTabsabei Bii says he left his home to Chepalungu in Bomet County to attend a relative’s funeral, only to come back and meet his home demolished. Her cowshed and goats’ barn were left empty. Bii says her three sons are missing but she and believes they are somewhere with the animals. “What welcomed me was a group of dogs feasting on one of the goats. I’m disturbed since I don’t know the whereabouts of my children and livestock. My legs too are aching because I’ve been walking around trying to trace them,” she says. Bii says she has been living on the land for over 30 years. Benard Simotwo says he was hit by a metal rod on his left hand by a police officer who asked him to demolish his own house. He declined and the officers descended on him before he fled. “I was asked to demolish the house by myself and I declined, little did I know I was inviting trouble,” says Simotwo. He says there is a lot of brutality and the officers are using force and intimidation to evict people. Education in the area has been paralysed as 15 primary schools have been closed, shops have also been demolished, leaving residents with nowhere to buy food. Richard Cheruiyot, a committee member at Olapa Primary School with a population of 340 pupils, says it is sad that their children have to stay at home while others study. The schools are the only permanent structures in the area and their construction was reportedly funded by the government. Cheruiyot says it is ironical that the same government evicting them had provided over Sh14 million to have the schools built. Narok County KFS Ecosystem Conservator Mwai Muraguri however dismissed claims that there was an ongoing operation. He said no one had been ordered to demolish or burn houses. “Operations stopped on July 13 after the lapse of the 10 days. If anyone was ordered to burn houses, the matter will be investigated and action taken,” says Muraguri. [email protected]
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