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Mau Forest settlers must be compensated, MPs insist

By | August 2nd 2009

By Peter Mutai, Karanja Njoroge and Maseme Machuka

Three MPs insist settlers in the Mau forest should not move out before the Government compensates them adequately.

Kuresoi MP Zakayo Cheruiyot and Konoin MP Julius Kones said the Government has an obligation to uphold the sanctity of title deeds.

The MPs were speaking in Kuresoi constituency on Friday during the opening of Kiptororo Secondary School. Kamukunji MP Simon Mbugua also said the Government must compensate Mau settlers before it evicts them.

He said while he supports the directive that people must leave Kenya’s largest water tower, it will be imprudent not to resettle them.

Speaking separately, ODM nominated MP Musa Sirma accused some Rift Valley MPs of trivialising and politicising the Mau issue. He alleged that they were playing cheap populist politics.

The MP said many Rift Valley residents support Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s efforts to restore the Mau forest.

"The Prime Minister should not be intimidated or worried by those claiming that he will lose support in the region. The elections will be decided by voters and not a handful of MPs," he added.

Mr Sirma said he is opposed to the way his colleagues in Rift Valley have engaged the Prime Minister in a war of words.

He said Raila’s approach is different from the one the Government used in 2005 to evict people from the forest.

"The earlier eviction was carried out in a brutal manner and that’s what the Prime Minister is trying to avoid," he said.

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