Mau evictions: Court gives NLC, KWS two days to respond - Daily Nation

Court gives NLC, KWS time to respond in Mau evictions case

Monday August 6 2018

Maasai Mau Forest

Men burning part of at Sonki forest that is east of Mau forest. Environment and Lands Court has given NLC and KWS two days to file their responses in two petitions seeking to stop evictions in the Maasai Mau Forest. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By GEORGE SAYAGIE
More by this Author

The Environment and Lands Court sitting in Narok has given the National Land Commission (NLC) and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) two days to file their responses in two petitions seeking to stop evictions in the Maasai Mau Forest.

Justice Mohammed Kullow, while citing substantive justice and the general importance of the matter, Monday granted the respondents time to file their responses by end of Wednesday ahead of hearing of the matter on August 10.

The court, for a second time, declined to issue temporary orders stopping evictions from the forest.

SETTLERS

Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony had filed a petition seeking to stop the eviction of more than 40,000 settlers.

In a separate petition, 19 Mau Forest settlers have also sought orders to stop the evictions.

On Monday, Justice Kullow allowed a non-governmental organisation – Friends of Mau Forest – and a Narok activist Elijah Sikona to be enjoined in the petition filed by the 19 Mau Forest settlers.

At the close of the first phase of evictions last week, the government had secured about 12,000 hectares of the forest, ejected 7,082 people and demolished over 1,700 temporary structures in the 46,000-hectare forest.

Narok County Commissioner George Natembeya said phase two of the evictions was set to begin.

EVICTIONS

The evictions have been carried out in Kosia, Nkoben, Arorwet, Kipchoge and Total areas.

Governor Chepkwony, in his petition, argues that the national government, without any right or legal authority and in utter disrespect of property rights and human dignity, is forcibly evicting more than 40,000 people from Reiyo, Enakishomi, Sisiyan, Enoosokon and Nkaroni group ranches.

Those sued in the case include the Cabinet secretaries for Interior and Land ministries, Narok County Commissioner George Natembeya and NLC.

In the second petition, Mr Johnson Kimutai Cheruiyot and 19 others claim that the respondents are in contempt of court orders issued four years ago.