Chief Justice Willy Mutunga has raised alarm over alleged fresh attempts to grab parts of Karura Forest.
Dr Mutunga asked Kenyans should stand up against the land grabbers and defend the legacy of Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai, who fought numerous battles with the Kanu regime to save the Nairobi’s largest gazetted forest.
He spoke during the launch of the Employment and Labour Relations Court.
“As we mark the anniversary of Prof Wangari Maathai’s death, we must stand up for Karura Forest and remind the merchants of greed that the sacrifices made by many gallant individuals for the common public good will not go undefended,” he said.
Controversy arose a few days ago following claims by the Green Belt Movement that 25 acres of the forest’s Sigiria block had been grabbed to build a six star hotel.
The block is opposite the Belgium Embassy on Wangari Maathai Road, previously known as Limuru Road.
Both the Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary and the Kenya Forest Service deny the claims by the Movement.
Karura Forest covers 1,063 hectares of land.
On the opening of the new labour court to deal with employment disputes, Dr Mutunga said the Judiciary will open sub-registries in Malindi, Eldoret, Meru, Bungoma, Garissa and Machakos to enable speedy determination of labour rows.
“The court should seek to understand that the litigants who come before it are men and women fighting for their livelihoods.”