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Everyone in Mau forest should be evicted

By DrNjenga Solomon | March 24th 2016

Dear fellow Kenyans, are you aware that President Uhuru Kenyatta through his flimsy cabinet has approved a report to cut off over 17,000 hectares of Mau Forest land? Did you know that he wants to give it out to individuals whom the grand coalition government evicted from the same forest? The plan to awarding forest-land-grabbers in this country should end because in itself, the idea is not only deadly, disastrous but also mind boggling! This is a perfect recipe of escalating ethnic hatred that may lead to ethnic clashes violence between Maasai, Kalenjin, and Kikuyus among many other tribes like Ogiek communities.

 I am advising the President to disqualify himself from this dubious cabinet decision because, if implemented, it will cost his presidency in the year 2017! This is an emotive and political decision that needs to be weighed wisely before its implementation. This is a “hot potato” right there! His dubious cabinet is setting him up with Kenyans on this matter and they need to be advised too. This will cause greatest public outrage ever in Kenyan history. Already, there is plenty of reactions coming forth condemning the move that is largely seen as an environmental catastrophe waiting to happen and one that may escalate hatred in the area. The idea itself is mind boggling!

Isn’t this a case of impunity and a perfect model of rewarding illegal settlers of Kenyan forests? This in itself is surprising! This decision in itself poses the greatest threat ever to Kenya's environmental conservation efforts.  It’s dangerous to cut off a chunk of such hectares of land from a gazetted forest and distribute it to individuals. The impact of this is that National conservation efforts will be rendered baseless. This will also spell doom to our National Reserves that earns the country billions in revenue. This plan is ill advised, retrogressive, selfish and insatiable and will erase gains made in environment conservation.

We as Kenyans are opposing this dangerous move by your cabinet and we demand that National Land Commission abstain itself from implementing this ill-advised decision. It’s true that the government wants to take some portion from Mau Forest to resettle squatters in an area that is already the subject of litigation in court by the local Ogiek community. There is a high likelihood that this resettlement would breed ethnic violence.

Mau forest belongs to Kenyans and anyone in the forest must be evicted in the interest of environment conservation and national cohesion.

Dr. Njenga, Solomon Ph.D

Dean - School of Governance, Peace and Security

Africa Nazarene University, Kenya

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