Mau evictions: Rift MPs accuse Uhuru of using differences with Ruto to oppress settlers

In Summary

• MPs accuse Uhuru of turning a blind eye to the evictions.

Mau forest settlers display their title deeds on Wednesday, September 4, 2019.
Mau forest settlers display their title deeds on Wednesday, September 4, 2019.
Image: FELIX KIPKEMOI

A section of Jubilee legislators from the Rift Valley have accused President Uhuru Kenyatta using "personal differences" with Deputy President William Ruto to oppress Mau forest settlers.

The MPs - Ronald Tonui (Bomet Central), Dominic Koskei (Sotik) and Joseph Ruto (Kuresoi South) alongside Segemian MCA Wesley Koech said Uhuru would order a stop to planned evictions if he had the people's interests at heart.

The MPs spoke on Wednesday in Sabetet and Sierra Leone in Narok South subcounty.

 

Tonui said the evictions have caused tension and disunity among communities living in the area.

He accused Uhuru of turning a blind eye to the evictions "yet the people living there voted for him in the last General Election".

Tonui urged Uhuru to listen to the concerns of the residents and alleged that Kenya Forest Service and security officers were harassing residents.

KFS officers have been patrolling the area urging residents to vacate the land.

The MPs said the handshake was being used to cause divisions between Uhuru and Ruto.

MP Ruto has read mischief in the timing of the planned evictions, adding they are political.

"This is nothing but pure 2022 politics... our people cannot be voting for you then you're turning against them again," he said.

 

He said settlers with valid title deeds should be compensated if they are evicted.

He said, "Before they go ahead to remove these people from their land, we are demanding that they do a thorough valuation of the land and compensate the people."

Koskei said leaders will stand with settlers, adding that the government which gave the title deeds is the one which wants to evict them.

 Meanwhile, children from some of the 15 schools which were to be closed were yet to report back on Wednesday despite the government moving the deadline forward by two months.

A spot check by the Star in three primary schools of Kabarak, Chebirbelek and Kitoben showed that only a handful of pupils had reported back.

The schools to be closed are Kirobon, Senetwet, Kapsibilwo, Kitoben, Indianit, Kabarak, Noosogami, Chorwet, Ogilgei, Sebetet, Olabai, Koitabai, Chebirbelek, Chebetet and Lelechwet.