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Court declines to halt Mau forest evictions

Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony
Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony had filed a petition seeking to stop the eviction of more than 40,000 settlers. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Environment and Lands Court has declined to issue orders stopping evictions from the Maasai Mau forest.

Instead, Justice Mohammed Kullow called for an inter-party hearing on August 6. Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony had filed a petition seeking to stop the eviction of more than 40,000 settlers.

At the close of last week, the government had secured about 12,000 hectares of the forest, ejected 7,082 people and demolished over 1,700 temporary structures in the 46,000 hectare forest.

Narok County Commissioner George Natembeya said phase two of the evictions was set to begin.

The evictions have been carried out in Kosia, Nkoben, Arorwet, Kipchoge and Total.

Prof Chepkwony filed the suit before a Narok court.

Prof Chepkwony, through lawyer Peter Wanyama, averred that the government was acting without legal authority and in utter disrespect of property rights and human dignity.

The petitioner further stated that the ongoing eviction was being done in an inhumane manner.

“Security officers burn houses, livestock, and beat up property owners in a brazen display of impunity and high-handedness. It is scorched-earth eviction,” stated part of the petition.

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