FOUND WITH SH180,000

Man arrested over shooting of Mau ranger with an arrow

The attack on the officers comes at a time when the settlers have complained of police harassment, violation human rights and destruction of properties.

In Summary

• The officer was shot in the thigh when he was on patrol in the company of other security officers in Kass area, Narok South.

• The incident led to tension among Mau forest settlers who feared the police would retaliate.

A Mau forest ranger is being assisted by his colleagues to Narok County Referral Hospital after he was shot with an arrow in Kass area, Narok South, on Friday
A Mau forest ranger is being assisted by his colleagues to Narok County Referral Hospital after he was shot with an arrow in Kass area, Narok South, on Friday
Image: KIPLANG'AT KIRUI

Police officers in Narok have arrested a man suspected of shooting a Kenya Forest Service ranger with an arrow on Friday.

The officer was shot in the thigh when he was on patrol in the company of other security officers in Kass area of Narok South. He was treated at the Narok County Referral Hospital.

The 6pm incident led to tension among Mau forest settlers, who feared the police would raid them in retaliation.

Rift Valley regional coordinator George Natembeya said the suspect was nabbed on Saturday in the same area the officer was attacked.

"He was arrested with Sh180,000 and we are wondering why he was carrying large sums of money," he said.

Natembeya suspected the man was distributing money to people resisting the second phase of Mau eviction.

"We've launched investigations into the incident and those attackers will face the law as the government will not relent in its efforts to restore Mau forest," he said.

He added they will continue with the planned evictions once the 60-day notice expires.

"We're now remaining with less than a month. Those still inside the forest should move out voluntarily before the days elapse and the state moves in to rehabilitate the degraded forest."

The attack came at a time the settlers have complained of police harassment, violation of human rights and destruction of properties. They alleged that the security officers have been barricading roads, hence hampering their movement outside the forest.

John Langat termed it wrong for the government to evict people who know Mau as their only home. He said women, children and the youth will be the most hurt.

"We knows Mau is the only home and our parents acquired the title deeds through the right procedures," said Langat.

He cautioned the government against taking the lives of citizens for granted and urged that the rule of law be respected.

"Every individual in this country have a right to life as enshrined  in Chapter 5 of the Constitution, a right to property and if that property should be acquired compulsorily by the government, then the laid-down procedures of Section 75 of the Constitution should be followed, as well as the provisions of the Land Act that state that people should be fully compensated before they are evicted," Langat said.

He accused Rift Valley legislators of failing to provide sound leadership on the Mau issue nd instead focussing on their selfish interests. He said they have failed to mobilise Kalenjins to come together to ensure the government performs its obligations to protect the people and their properties.

(Edited by F'Orieny)