Close to 600 land titles in the hands of people evicted from the Maasai Mau Forest are illegal, a PS has told court.
Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning Nicholas Muraguri, in a cross petition filed at a Nakuru lands court, claims the 599 title deeds, which are part of five local group ranches, were obtained in blatant violation of the law.
The PS in the cross petition with 599 names as respondents, said the title deeds formed part of the Maasai Mau Forest and the same should be restored to the forest. He also asked a three-judge bench to cancel a petition by the Mau evictees challenging their eviction.
“It is important that the honourable court be pleased to issue an order that land title numbers set out below, which are subdivisions of Reiyo, Enakishomi, Sisiyian, Enoosokon and Nkaroni Group Ranches, were obtained illegally, unlawfully and without following procedure and in blatant violation of law,” Muraguri said.
He said the encroachment into the Mau occurred when group ranches subdivided their parcels beyond the registered boundaries.
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The PS said the Government, in the mid-1970s, declared five adjudication sections to the North of Olposimoru and Maasai Forest. They included Olposimoru “A”, and “B”, Kamrar, Kilaba and Olokurto.
He said at around the same time, five other adjudication sections were declared to the south of the forests and included Ilmotiok, Ololunga, Nkoben, Nkareta and Naisoya. Group ranches, he said, emanated from three adjudication sections. They were Reiyo (26ha), Enakishomi (844.5ha), Sisiyan (447.5ha), Enoosokon and Nkaroni (1597.5ha). The five group ranches were later declared an adjudication section.
The register for Sisiyian, the PS said, was opened on September 11, 1980, and closed on September 6, 2000. Nkaroni register was opened on July 10, 1980, and closed on August 6, last year.
Enakishomi group ranch was opened on July 10, 1980 and closed on August 6, last year. Register for Reiyo was opened on November 13, 1980. The encroachment, according to the AG, originated from irregular increase of the size of the five group ranches that bordered the forest.
Compel to vacate
Muraguri wants the 599 people listed in his cross-petition compelled to vacate the land immediately, failure to which an order of eviction will be issued against them.
Justices Sila Munyao, Mohammed Kullow and Ongondo George yesterday ordered the Attorney General to place an advert in the dailies and in it list the names of the 599, their title deeds and size of land allegedly owned.
The advert, according to the judges, will notify those mentioned in the cross petition of a suit against them and will be expected to enter appearance within 15 days.
The case will be mentioned on September 30.