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Environment CS Tobiko warns action will be taken against those stealing public land

WESTERN
By Felix Odhiambo | October 29th 2018

Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko, who has warned that action will be taken against those stealing public land. [Photo, File]

The Government has vowed to recover all grabbed forest land.

Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko has warned that stern action will be taken against anyone found stealing public land irrespective of their social status.

Tobiko, who spoke in Webuye East Constituency last week when he toured Sang’alo Technical Institute, ordered eviction of people who have settled on public land at Chetambe Hills.

“It is known some residents and senior politicians have grabbed land in Chetembe Hills. I have directed the County Commissioner to take charge and have them vacate the land immediately,” said Tobiko.

He added: “No one will be spared in this fight. If you have encroached forest land or any public land, we will evict you without regard to your social status and family background, and you won’t be compensated.”

The CS claimed some of the land grabbers have been flocking Environment ministry offices with fake title deeds in their attempts to retain stolen land.

Public land

“We won’t show mercy towards grabbers of public land. Those found culpable should expect no compensation and will pay huge fines for illegally staying on public land,” Tibiko said.

The battle targets encroachment of major forests in the country. When he toured Kakamega Forest in Lurambi sub-county two weeks ago, Tobiko launched fencing for the country’s only tropical rain forest to protect it from invasion and destruction.

"My ministry is tasked with ensuring all public forest land is protected from destruction by greedy citizens. We are also expected to ensure more trees are planted and that is what we will continue to do," said the CS.

Area County Commissioner James Kiande said he will ensure illegal forest settlers are evicted. He said they are also hoping to have planted at least five million new tree seedlings by 2022.

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