Fresh evictions leave 600 displaced

Sunday October 2 2011

By GEORGE SAYAGIE [email protected]

More than 600 people have been displaced in the latest wave of Mau Forest evictions.

Security agencies descended on illegal settlers in Nkareta location, Narok South in Maasai Mau forest area during the weekend operation.

The victims’ houses were burnt under unclear circumstances and displaced families took refuge at Chepalungu Primary School.

The homeless families join another 19,000 who were subjected to a similar fate two years ago and are still in transit camps around the Mau Complex.

Several people have been reported missing by their kinsmen and this attributed to confusion at the affected villages.

One of the evicted people, Mr Nichodemus Omboga, said a contingent of 17 Administration Police officers struck on Friday morning and started demolishing houses and setting them ablaze.

“The officers arrived and immediately ordered us out of our houses, as they demolished and set them ablaze,” Mr Omboga said.

Acting on orders

Another victim, Mr Samuel ole Nadungi Enkop, said the officers informed them that they were illegally occupying part of the Maasai Mau.

“One of the officers told me that they were acting on orders from the Prime Minister’s Office,” Mr Enkop said, adding, his wife was among those missing.

South Rift rights activists led by Mr Elijah Sikona said they visited the area and counted 100 burnt houses.

Mr Sikona said the police raid was unwarranted since the victims were not served with a court order.

“How can the government subject the villagers to such harsh weather conditions by destroying their houses without prior notice?This is a misplaced act of brutality,” Mr Sikona said.

Contacted for comment, South Rift regional commissioner Naftali Mungathia said he was not aware of the evictions.

He told the human rights activist to get in touch with the Mau Secretariat at the Prime Minister’s office.

Efforts to reach Narok North DC Godfrey Kigochi and his Narok South counterpart Chimwanga Mongo were futile as their calls went unanswered.