Rutto vows to block Mau forest evictions

Says 2005 Hassan Noor task force report re-designating the forest cutline was not binding

In Summary

• Environment CS Tobiko has announced 60,000 people will be evicted from forest.

• But former Bomet governor says planned eviction is illegal as it follows no law.

Former Bomet governor Isaac Rutto
Former Bomet governor Isaac Rutto
Image: FILE

Former Bomet Governor Isaac Rutto has vowed to block any move by the government to evict people living in the Mau forest.

He said the 2005 Hassan Noor task force report re-designating the forest cutline was not binding.

Rutto said a report cannot become a law unless it is taken to Parliament as a bill for passage and subsequently assented by the President.

Speaking to the press in Bomet, Rutto said it was unfortunate that the government had resorted to mistreating people living in some parts of the forest yet there was no law guiding the process.

“What we are witnessing is an illegality because there is no law guiding us. That is why we are going to use all means possible to stop this ill-intended move,” he said.

“That is just a report and not a law, it is not binding at all. We are still wondering why people are always being chased out of the forest yet they do not live inside the forest land.”

Environment CS Keriako Tobiko has announced that 60,000 people will be evicted from the forest land in the second phase which is set to kick off soon.

The former governor said for the report to be treated as relevant it ought to be tabled in parliament as bill before the legislators either adopt or reject it.

“What we are witnessing are unlawful evictions. Tthere is nowhere written that people living in a certain area of the forest must be evicted. Because there are now two cutlines in the forest, that is why we are opposed to all this process,” he said.

Rutto was accompanied by former MPs Zakayo Cheruiyot, Magerer Langat and a  MCAs from Narok county.

The bone of contention in the Mau forest is two cutlines which are 12 kilometers apart.