Politician returns title deeds for land in Mau Forest

Former Narok Councillor Korema ole Surum surrendering his title deeds from Maasai Mau forest to Narok County Commissioner George Natembeya at Narok.The government has ordered those with title deeds in the 'status quo' section to surrender them. [PHOTO:ROBERT KIPLAGAT/STANDARD]

A former forest officer and councillor has surrendered two title deeds for a 100-hectare land in the Mau Forest.

Korema ole Surum surrendered the title following a Government directive that all land owners hand over the documents for verification.

Mr Surum, who was a forest officer before joining politics, surrendered title deeds for his parcel of land at Sisiyan Group Ranch at Olulung’a.

He, however, maintained that he got the land legally.

“I heard Narok County Commissioner George Natembeya issuing notice for all holders to surrender their title deeds, and as a law-abiding Kenyan, I obliged,” Surum said yesterday at the county commissioner’s office when he delivered the title.

Surum, who was accompanied by former Narok East Constituency aspirant Alfred Keriolale, said he was given the land by elders and did not sell it. He was, however, concerned that the land had been invaded by settlers.

The former civic leader refuted claims by the Mau Task-force report indicating that he had been allocated more than 2,000 hectares.

He said the figures had been 'cooked' by his political rivals to tarnish his name.

“I have chosen to surrender the titles so the Government can either compensate me or give me an alternative land. For the many years I have owned the land, I have never benefited from it, as it was invaded by illegal settlers, who allocated themselves behind my back,” said Surum.

While receiving the documents, Mr Natembeya hailed the politician for taking a bold move to surrender the documents and asked other holders to follow suit before the start of phase two of the evictions.

“We have already issued the notice. I want to tell those who have any land documents, be it a sale agreement or title deed, to bring them to my office. As for those who have no documents and are still in the forest, let them vacate immediately,” Natembeya said.

He has however issued a stern warning against those found with fake title deeds, saying they will be charged with forgery.

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Narok politiciansurrendersMau titledeeds