Case on 15 Mau shut schools adjourned

Narok County Commissioner Samuel Kimiti addressing Journalists in his office.He has warned politicians against stepping in Maasai Mau forest ahead of looming eviction.
A case in which 35 lawyers are challenging closure of 15 public schools in the Mau Forest was yesterday adjourned for a second time.

Justice Muhammad Kulllow, of the Environment and Labour Relations Court, was expected to deliver a ruling on whether he has jurisdiction to hear the case on the alleged violation of the rights of the children in the affected schools.

Other parties

Justice Kullow told lawyers representing two other parties – Friends of Mau and the Mara Conservation Group – to file their responses in the case before October 22 when the case will be heard inter-partes.

SEE ALSO :Rift Valley leaders seek talks over Mau

The two organisations are represented by lawyers Martin ole Kamwaro and Allan ole Meing'ati respectively.

The ruling was set for Wednesday, but Narok County Government, represented by Kemboi S.L and Company Advocates, filed a preliminary objection last week.

He argued that the court lacks jurisdiction to hear the case as it is based on violation of children’s rights to education and other basic rights, which is a preserve of the High Court of Kenya.

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Mr Kemboi argued that the matter should be taken to a constitutional court for hearing and determination, faulting the move by the 35 lawyers to file it in an environment court.

The petition was first filed before Justice Mwangi Njoroge in the Kitale Environment court a fortnight ago but was later transferred to Narok.

SEE ALSO :All set for Mau forest evictions

Settlers leave

Meanwhile, settlers continued to leave the disputed 17,000 acres of land the Government had declared is part of the Mau Complex.

At least 2,200 families have left the forestland.

Addressing journalists at his office yesterday, area County Commissioner Samuel Kimiti  said the process of receiving land ownership documents surrendered by the settlers was on.

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Mau Forest35 lawyers15 public schools