CONSERVATION EFFORTS

Mau restoration was a state project, I have no regrets — Raila

"I didn't target anyone. It was for the benefit of all Kenyans. It was a state decision."

In Summary

• The former Prime Minister said he only implemented a decision that was approved by the Cabinet and ratified by MPs.

• He said the Cabinet also implemented the recommendation of a task force that reviewed the status of water catchments in the country.

Raila Odinga during a visit to Kiambu County on September 15, 2021.
Raila Odinga during a visit to Kiambu County on September 15, 2021.
Image: TWITTER/RAILA ODINGA

ODM leader Raila Odinga has restated he has no regrets for implementing the Mau forest eviction which is said to have cost him the Rift Valley in the 2013 elections.

The former Prime Minister said he only implemented a decision that was approved by the Cabinet and ratified by MPs.

Speaking to KBC on Wednesday, Raila said he was happy that the efforts went a long way to saving the water catchment area for the benefit of residents and the country.

He said the Cabinet also implemented the recommendation of a task force that reviewed the status of water catchments in the country.

“I have no regret on the Mau issue. I did not target anyone. It was for the benefit of all Kenyans. It was a decision of the government. My competitors went on a campaign to discredit the good cause saying Raila is punishing us yet we voted him,” he said.

Raila said the task force reviewed the situation at the Mau, Mt Kenya, Aberdares, Cherangany, and Mt Elgon water catchment areas.

“It was decided that the catchments be protected so that we reduce desertification. They had been invaded by squatters who were cutting trees destroying the natural habitat,” the ODM leader said.

The former PM said the decision was passed by Parliament and that what was left was for his office to implement.

“When it was being implemented the fights began. That is why I insisted and said would ‘go sell mandazi in Kibra’,” he said.

Raila said he was happy that Kenyans have seen the difference.

“The rains have improved. Animals that were suffering are now getting sufficient supplies.”

“It was for this reason that we communicated the eviction of squatters. The decision was decided by the Cabinet. Then Environment minister Noah Wekesa implemented the decision,” Raila said.

He said the task force toured Mau forest and spoke to people and reported the situation which Cabinet approved.

Edited by D Tarus