Senate directs land commission to put caveat on Kiambu forest
By Fidelis Kabunyi
| November 4th 2021
Kisumu Senator and chair of Senate Committee on National Security, Defence and Foreign Relations Fred Outa said going by the evidence tabled before the committee, the forest is still gazetted as Kiambu Forest contrary to claims that it was degazetted to give way for sale and purchase.
Yesterday, the Fred Outa-led committee directed NLC to put a caveat on the disputed piece of land until the committee finalises its findings.
“We are out to inquire about the circumstances under which the forest land was grabbed," Outa said. "All those claiming ownership will be given an opportunity to appear before the committee so as to enable us write a conclusive report."
Some 13 conservation groups and human rights defenders had petitioned the Senate to probe the alleged encroachment on the forest. They claimed Ms Stutchbury was killed by grabbers of the forest land.
“It still remains unclear how the land which was gazetted as forest land ended up in the hands of private developers. This is what the committee will be investigating about and write a report that will be tabled before the house for further action,” Outa said during a fact-finding mission at the Kiambu Forest Reserve.
He was accompanied by committee members Mithika Linturi (Meru) and Mahamud Mohamed (Mandera).
He told all those claiming ownership of the land to appear before the committee with the relevant documents supporting their claims.
The senator however said the people who have been mentioned in connection with the irregular allocation of the forest will be presumed innocent until the committee concludes its findings and gives recommendations on the next course of action.
“It is clear that a huge chunk of the forest land has been grabbed as some of the occupants are there illegally even if the matters are before the court,” Outa said.
“There a number of people who have been mentioned in connection with the grabbing but we shall not divulge their names until the process is complete and give our recommendations.”
He also said the committee will fast-track the process and table its report before the end of the year. “Owing to the sensitivity of the matter we shall a table a report before the senate goes for the long recess."
Kiambu Town MP Jude Njomo urged the committee to take into consideration the plight of the landowners in their recommendations.
“Somebody failed on his duty by degazetting the forest by not following the due process,” Njomo said.
Dos and don'ts for university students keen on successHere are dos and don'ts for university students keen on success
New Dandora stadium set to take longerThe Sh350 million Dandora Stadium will be delayed by at least two months, the City Hall has announced.
Postmortem reveals how Esther Wambui, whose body was found in suitcase, died
By Kamore Maina
- Matatu rams into Total petrol station, kills attendant, injures another
- Boys to men: Kalenjins living in Australia stick to their tradition
By Edward Kosut
- Judicial officer, Mombasa tycoons drawn into Nyali school land row
- Kenya Power launches smart metres to improve services
- Olekina: Mudavadi’s announcement will have no impact on 2022 polls