No compensation for Mau evictions victims

The government will not compensate the evictees of the Mau forest complex and the evictions will go on as planned.

This is despite the admission by the solicitor general that government agents aided in the irregular issuance of title deeds.

This was revealed before the committee on environment and natural resources which had summoned the Cabinet Secretary for Lands & Physical Planning Faridah Karoney and the solicitor general to make presentations on the legality of title deeds held by occupants of the Mau complex.

In August, the government announced plans to embark on the second phase of evictions from the Mau forest complex after the first attempt in July 2018.

Since the announcement, the government has been faced with accusations and counter-accusations around how the title deeds were acquired.

The basis is that government officials had a role to play in misleading Kenyans.

In the wake of this, the committee now wants the government to bite the bullet and compensate the affected settlers.

She said, “You are now telling us that for the small fishes it’s illegal. However, for the big fishes that are the tea factories, you have no prepared answer. It is therefore fair to revoke those licences or announce those titles by the factories illegal.”

Upon questioning by the committee, CS Karoney could not reveal the legality of the title deeds being held by tea plantations in the Mau and Aberdare forest but the team still maintained that the encroachment is illegal.

The status of the 22nd block of the Mau complex said to be a trust land held by Narok county govt. The answer to that is that the whole of Mau is public land as provided for by chapter 62 of the constitution. There is no evidence that shows that Narok county revoked the provision to allow individuals to hold titles over forest land.

The committee now wants the government to segregate the settlements as legal or illegal before presenting its final submission to the committee for processing.

In the second phase, the government is targeting to evict over 10,000 families from the Maasai maul forest.

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