TIRED OF BEING PUSHED

Kalenjins to withdraw support for Jubilee over Mau evictions, say DP allies

MPs say the Kalenjin community has done nothing wrong to be targeted on many fronts by the same government it supports

In Summary

• Politicians accuse the state of targeting the poor while protecting the rich who own tracts in the forest.

• Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi cautions the government to deal with the emotive forest issue carefully or it would be the last straw for the ruling party .

Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi in Eldoret
Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi in Eldoret
Image: MATHEWS NDANYI

The Kalenjin community is on the verge of withdrawing its support for the Jubilee administration should the planned Mau forest evictions continue.

The warning was issued by DP William Ruto’s Rift Valley allies who said they will not sit back and watch more than 60,000 people evicted by "the same government that is protecting a few influential people with large tracts in the forest". 

Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi on Sunday cautioned the government to deal with the emotive Mau forest issue carefully or it would be the last straw for Jubilee. 

"We're tired of being pushed and if the Mau evictions take place, then there will be no need for us to claim we are part of Jubilee anymore," he said.

He said the Kalenjin community has done nothing wrong to be targeted on many fronts by the same government it supports. "We're warning them to tread carefully on the emotive Mau forest eviction because it will determine many other things," Sudi said.

The lawmaker spoke during a funds drive in Turbo. Also in attendance were Ruto's aide Farouk Kibet, Soy MP Caleb Kositnay and former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale.

Kositany told the government to put off the planned evictions to allow thousands of children in 15 schools sit their national exams.

"There is absolutely no need for the government to punish its own people and create a humanitarian crisis," he said.

Kositany, who is the Jubilee Party deputy secretary-general, said the evictions would cause further friction between party leaders, yet they had promised to protect and support poor Kenyans.

Sudi and Kostany said the Mau settlers acquired the land legally and should not vacate unless they are compensated. They said the part occupied by the families is not even part of the forest. They also told Environment CS Keriako Tobiko to stop chest-thumping and intimidations.

Khalwale appealed to the government to pursue dialogue instead of applying force.

"The families have lived in Mau for than two decades and there is no need for the state to turn against them, especially the innocent young children who are preparing to sit national exams," he said.

(Edited by F'Orieny)