Get out of Mau Forest! MPs tell Moi

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By Blamuel Njururi. Kenya Confidential Editor-in-Chief, Nairobi – August 3, 2018

Parliamentarians, led by the Leader of Government Business Aden Duale spoke in a chorus demanding Moi’s eviction along with his cronies who took advantage of his presidency to grab thousands of the Mau Forestland

The political storm gathering upon Mau Forest evictions is turning into a tsunami with Members of Parliament calling for the eviction of retired President Daniel arap Moi. Debate on the Environment Parliamentary Committee report on restoration of forests focused on the big land grabbers with MPs displaying rare bravery to name Moi by his name and his 9,000-acre Kaptagat Tea plantation replete with a processing factory.

President Uhuru Kenyatta held a meeting with the former president but has yet to reveal what they discussed but the issue of Mau Complex was most likely on the menu giving the Parliamentarians such rare courage to call on Moi eviction emphatically. Moi’s son Gideon was at the meeting only a few days after he joined Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen in Mau to reassure Mau forestland evictees that they should stay put. Given the environmental heat generated by Mau, Moi has no choice but to pack and leave before the government evicts him – but to go he will.

Parliamentarians, led by the Leader of Government Business Aden Duale spoke in a chorus demanding Moi eviction along with his cronies who took advantage of his presidency to grab thousands of the Mau Forestland. Never before has Moi been subjected to such public attack in Parliament making a major shift in his fear and pointing towards unpredictable action for sins committed during the 24-year reign he presided over wanton corruption – including the notorious economic heist through Goldenberg.

Meanwhile, the Maasai Council of Elders is also calling for the naming, and punishment, of those they say were illegal beneficiaries of f Mau Forestland. Others who have called for the arrest and prosecution of the prominent individuals include the Rift Valley Council of Elders through its patron, Mr Gilbert Kabage, and the Ogiek Council of Elders through its chairman, Mr Joseph Towett.

“These people’s names are in the Hansard taken from the Prime Minister (Raila Odinga) Task-force report, and they should be exposed. The government knows them,” Joseph Ole Karia, a former member of the Mau Forest Taskforce Committee, said.

Karia, who is the Maasai Council of Elders national secretary and was accompanied by former Narok county council vice chairman, Mr Josephat ole Kamuye, said that those who had illegally acquired the land were known and well-documented in a 2008 report tabled in the National Assembly.

Pressure is mounting on State agencies to move swiftly and arrest powerful individuals who illegally acquired Mau Forestland and sold it to unsuspecting Kenyans, who are now victims of forced evictions from the country’s largest water tower. Some of the victims were military personnel returning from peace-keeping missions.

Some 29,000 hectares of forest land had been illegally taken by over 2,500 households in the Maasai Mau, according to the report. The list tabled accounted for only 18,102 hectares of forest land allocated irregularly. The report conspicuously left out 9,000 acres grabbed by Moi.

Days after the eviction exercise targeting 600 households commenced, focus has now shifted to rich and powerful individuals who excised huge tracts of land in the vast forest complex before they sold it. Over 2,000 people from 333 households have already been kicked out of the expansive Maasai Mau Forest, part of the Mau forest complex that also comprises of Transmara, Ol Posimoru, Eastern Mau, Mau Narok, South West Mau, Western Mau, Mt Londiani, Eburru, Molo and South Molo forests.

In the Maasai Mau, a report tabled in Parliament in 2009 named Ololarusi In-vestment Farm (4,001ha), former councillor Korema ole Surum (2,988ha), Mr Francis Lemiso Kipturkut (2,653ha) and IIngina Contractors (1,295ha), which is owned by Livingstome Kunini ole Ntutu a client of Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko, as those that got forest land subdivided to them in the Maasai Mau Forest.

Tobiko is a man who has been trying to run away from his shadow from 2006 when Kenya Confidential first exposed his involvement in the Mau Forest Complex land grabbing. He has spared no effort in compromise Media Houses never to publish information on his role as the lead lawyer in aiding the grabbing of forestland. He is a man heavily weighed down by his past past self-inflicted baggage of sins. The mainstream media houses Nation and Standard have been key beneficiaries where editors have been at call and beck of the rancorous of a lawyer.

Tobiko is now in the eye of the Mau storm as a Lawyer who  aided and abated the grabbing of thousands of acres of Maasai Mau Forest and Maasai Mara National Reserve in Narok District whose consequences have been massive ecological and environmental degradation. The destruction of Mau forest cover has resulted in perennial floods causing deaths, wreaking havoc and inflicting heavy economic losses in Narok Town.

He spared no effort in aiding and abetting grabbing of 4,000 acres of Maasai Mara Forest Title Narok/CIS/Mara/Ololulunga/9470 Parcel 9470 in 1999 as the lawyer of ole Ntutu. He later aided the same client in grabbing another 4,000 acres inside Maasai Mara National Reserve Title No Narok/CIS Mara/Talek/155.

When Maasai Mara National Park title was cancelled by fellow forest land grabber then Commissioner of Lands, Sammy Mwata, Tobiko advised his client to go to Court as pursue judicial authentication of the illegality. Like the Mau Forest Complex, the Maasai Mara is an international jewel of great value which no single individual should be allowed to grab least of it destroy for personal gain.

Tobiko defended fraudulently acquired Titles in conspiratorial nature and allowed surreptitious State betrayal in prosecution of Criminal Case No 2157 of 2003, against the same Livingstone Kunini ole Ntutu, which was alive when he became the Director of Prosecutions in 2005, thereby failing to have regard to the public interest, the interests of the administration of justice and also failing to prevent and avoid abuse of the legal process demanded of him as DPP

Senior Principal Magistrate Mrs R A Mutoka said as much in her judgment of Criminal Case No 2157 of 2003 – Republic Versus Livingstone Kunini ole Ntutu (Reproduced below) when she declined to consider the validity of the Title to Parcel No Talek 155 as the defense, led by Mr Kioko Kilukumi, a cube-mate of Mr Tobiko at University, had urged.

The Magistrate cited lack of interest by the State (DPP prosecution) in that case and said it had “miserably failed more by way of omission in my view to prove its case against the accused person in all the charges preferred against him”.

However Tobiko’s tribulations were forecast in a letter by owners of a Tourist lodge business OLKIOMBO LIMITED, within the grabbed part of the National reserve on February 3, 2006 to then Attorney General Amos Wajko, now Senetor, when they warned; “Losing a portion of the National Reserve for official grand corruption has its local and International politics and ramifications. We as owners of the grabbed land will demand the Reserve’s adjudication and not leave it to a few powerful and strategically placed like DPP. The tourism industry will not countenance corruption making nonsense its Policy.” Retrospectively, every dog has its day.

President Kenyatta appears to have put Tobiko in the environment and forestry ministry as rope with which to hang himself having aided in the robbery of a tourism firm a business of interest to aid a former Narok County Council Treasurer who grabbed the land on which a Tourist Lodge stood knowing its economic value to share with his mentors.

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