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Ex-minister Musa Sirma sued in dispute over tree harvesting

KENYA
By Julius Chepkwony | February 24th 2017

Former cabinet minister Musa Sirma and the Kenya Forest Service have been restrained from harvesting trees in a disputed portion of Mau forest.

Nakuru Environment and Lands Court judge Sila Munyao issued the orders on Monday, as sought by Raycon Ltd Director  Patrick Bundotich.

Mr Bundotich has sued Sirma, the alleged director of Superply and Awen Sawmills Ltd, together with Kenya Forest Service, claiming the two harvested trees that were legally allocated to him through a competitive process.

He claimed the illegal harvesting on ARAMA 3(F) portion 2, if not stopped, would see him lose over Sh4.8million.

Bundotich, in his affidavit, claims KFS issued him with a letter on August 13, 2014 informing him that his company's tender to harvest trees in the forest was successful. He was then granted authority to harvest 1,027 over-mature trees on March 2, 2015 on plot Narasha 6(A).

He claimed KFS granted him an annual General Forest Licence to harvest 612 trees on Arama 3(F) in 2015.

He told the court that for some time, he failed to harvest his allocated share of trees, and on February 7, 2017, he discovered that Sirma's workers and agents had proceeded to harvest trees allocated to him.

Bundotich says upon complaining, the Eldama Ravine Conservatory asked him to meet Sirma and see whether he could be reallocated another unharvested portion of the forest.

Justice Munyao directed the parties to appear in court for an inter-partes hearing on March 6.

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