Government issue eviction notice to two firms for allegedly encroaching Mau

Bomet County Commissioner Geoffrey Ominding addressing the press outside his office yesterday. Omonding said the government is seeking to recovery 1000 acres of land hived from mau for tea by two firms in Konoin. [Photo: Gilbert Kimutai/Standard]

Two tea companies have been ordered to surrender more than 1,000 acres of land said to have been hived off from Mau Forest.

Kenya Forest Service eco-system conservator Francis Misonge issued Embomos Tea Farm and Sinendet Multi-Purpose Co-operative Society with notices to vacate the land.

County Commissioner Geoffrey Omonding (pictured) said the two firms, based in Konoin constituency, were illegally occupying Mau Forest land.

Mr Omonding said the vacate order was in line with ongoing efforts to conserve forests.

"The decision to evict them was reached after a county security committee on environment found they had illegally acquired the land to grow tea," he said.

“We have written to them to move out and invited the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and Directorate of Criminal Investigations to investigate the matter further and bring to book those who carried out illegal land transfers that led to destruction of parts of the forest.

"Investigations have shown the two firms, which have been operating in the area since 1995, annexed land from the forest without following due process."

Omonding said the Government was determined to recover the land and urged the two companies to relocate their activities.

“We are keen to ensure the South Western Mau is protected. Officials of the tea firms have been summoned to record statements before action is taken.”

Mr Misonge said the evictions would also target those who had encroached on Chepalungu Forest

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tea companiesMau ForestKenya Forest ServiceSinendet Multi-Purpose Co-operative SocietyCounty Commissioner Geoffrey OmondingKonoin constituency