Detectives to probe sale of Mau Forest land - Daily Nation

Narok detectives to probe sale of Mau Forest land

Wednesday August 15 2018

mau forest

Narok County Commissioner George Natembeya addresses the press in his office on July 16, 2018. He has said that some group ranches were expanded illegally. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By GEORGE SAYAGIE
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Narok County Commissioner George Natembeya has summoned 15 group ranches and six government officials to appear for questioning over the purchase of sections of Mau Forest land.

Mr Natembeya on Wednesday claimed that the ranch officials colluded with surveyors and three land registrars to extend the ranches deep into the forest.

He wants them to record statements at the county's Criminal Investigations Directorate.

"I hereby direct officials of Enoosokon, Reiyo, Nkaroni, Sisisyian and Enekishomi [ranches] to present themselves at the Narok County CID offices and record statements on what transpired," Mr Natembeya said.

OFFICIALS

The surveyors are Mr Jackton Mogaka, Mr George Gaya and Mr Silas Muketha. The late Mr Francis Kipgetich and Mr Joseph Mukhole were also in the list.

The land registrars are: Mr John Chepkirui, A.S Bamosa and Mr Joseph Onyambu - who issued title deeds that had been declared null and void by government.

The ranch officials are Napatau ole Kana and Rukuti ole Konata of Sayan Group Ranch, Sanja ole Sankei, Mr Sampele ole Maleto, Mr Fredrick Cheres and Benson Kori of Reiyo Group Ranch; Nkaroni group ranch's Mr Johnson Kipketer, Mr Joseph Kimeto Mapetu and Wilfred Kipkorir Langat; Enoosokon group ranch's Mr Oloosuya Tiyo, Mr Juma Kimanyim and Lemein Kiputa; and former Enekishomi ranch leaders Mr David Sulunye, Mr Stanley Naiyeya Sirma and William Sirma.

EVICTIONS

Their summoning comes as the government targets people who sold land illegally excised from the Mau Forest Complex to unsuspecting people.

So far, thousands of residents have been evicted from Mau Forest. The second phase of evictions will begin soon.

Mr Natembeya said the adjudication of group ranches took place in 1999, leading to the extension of boundaries that culminated in an excess of 17,101 ha.

The Lands ministry said 1,089 people who originally got land within the forest excised the parcels and later sold or transferred them.

"We now have all the names of those who sold land to unsuspecting people who are now victims of evictions. Soon those culpable will be arrested and prosecuted," the county commissioner said.

The evictions saw the ejection of 7,082 people, reclamation of 12,000 hectares of forest land and demolition of over 1,700 temporary structures in the 46,000 hectare land.

Last month the Environment and Lands Court in Narok declined to issue orders to stop phase two of the evictions in a case filed by Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony and a group of settlers.