A section of Maasai leaders have issued a two-week ultimatum to government to evict the remaining about 40,000 people living in the caveat area, failure to which they will mobilize community members to flush the ‘illegal’ settlers from the Maasai Mau forest.
The leaders who spoke at Nkareta trading center in Narok North said while they are appreciate the government’s move to evict the 7,000 people from Kosia and Nkoben areas.
They want the water tower freed of settlers in the soonest time possible.
The leaders led by Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina, Narok North MP Moitalel ole Kenta, former Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Alex ole Magelo, Nkareta MCA James Kiok and former county council chairmen Kelena Nchoe blamed cartels for expansion of group ranches.
“Conservation of the Maasai Mau forest to the Maa community is a matter of life and death. We appreciate the government for the efforts they have made so far but we are giving them 14 days to remove the remaining from the forest,” said Senator Ledama.
The leaders reactions comes days after area County Commissioner George Natembeya ordered those will any land ownership settlement in the status quo area which initially had 7989 people according to the 2008/09 Mau Task Force report to surrender them.
“Those who have any land ownership documents such as title deeds,land agreements should go to the relevant people .Those with title deeds should go to government offices to explain how they go their title deeds and their authenticity,” said Natembeya.
The Maa leaders however rubbished the 2015 cutline and instead want the 2008 boundary be used and the settlers be evicted without any compensation as they invaded the forest illegally.
“These people should be evicted and returned to where they came from and we are telling the government not to compensate them in any way. In fact they should be made to pay for the trees they destroyed to create space for settlement,” lamented Ledama.
The leaders also asked government to use the original map to determine the exact sizes of the five group ranches as Reiyo, Enakishomi, Sisiyan, Enoosokon, and Nkaroni were expanded to increase settlement area.
On his part MP Kenta said the settlements in Maasai Mau were expanded from intitial 42,000 hectares to over 115,000hectares adding that those cartels who sold the land to the settlers should be unmasked.
“We are as community are ready and Kenyans are ready to defend this crucial water tower.We cannot risk losing millions of people and future generations to please few individuals by allowing them to continue destroying the forest,” said Kenta.
They also faulted Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony for filing a petition seeking to block the evictions and instead asked him to keep off Maasai Mau and Narok affairs.
Governor Chepkwony moved to court Thursday last week to stop the ongoing evictions terming the manner at which the operation was conducted as against the law.
The Governor through his advocate Peter Wanyama stated 20 reasons as to why the evictions were done in an inappropriate manner.