MPS' PLANS

Evicting Chepkitale residents will rekindle conflict, say Elgon MCAs

Ward reps say the residents protect the forest as they herd their livestock there

In Summary

• Area MP drummed up support in the National Assembly to resettle the community at Chepyuk settlement scheme. 

• But MCAs say community has occupied the trust land for decades, 'cannot live in scheme with their animals'. 

Chepyuk MCA Franklin Simotwo addresses the press at Bungoma county assembly on October 17
'THEIR ANCESTRAL LAND': Chepyuk MCA Franklin Simotwo addresses the press at Bungoma county assembly on October 17
Image: BRIAN OJAMAA

Bungoma MCAs from Mt Elgon constituency have opposed their MP's plan to have residents evicted from Chepkitale forest. 

The MCAs lead by Chepyuk's Franklin Simotwo said residents should continue living in Chepkitale as they are protecting the forest while herding their animals. 

Residents from the marginalised communities of Ndorobos and Ogieks, they said, have been staying there for a long time and it’s their ancestral home. 

The move comes barely a week after area MP Fred Kapondi drummed up support in the National Assembly to resettle the community at Chepyuk settlement scheme. 

They said that in the report from the assembly, MPs have put a clause that people are living on Chepkitale community land (trust land) that was changed by the current Constitution into community land.

"Evicting them will take us back to fights we once had with Sabaot Land Defence Forces in 2006," Simotwo said

He said they have been there since 1912 and that the Chepyuk settlement scheme land is only five and a half hectares. 

"There is no way they will go to live with their cows in a scheme with other people," he said. 

MCA James Kiprop from Ndorobo and Ogiek community, who was nominated to represent the minority and marginalised communities, opposed the plan to evict the people saying that is their ancestral land. 

Edited by R.Wamochie