Narok MP Moitalel ole Kenta demands scrapping of over 19,000 Mau Forest titles

mau picA fresh political feud has erupted among Narok leaders in the emotive Mau Forest saga after an MP demanded the revocation of 19,136 title deeds held by settlers. Narok North MP Moitalel ole Kenta wants members of a prominent family and some former officials of the now defunct Narok County Council who allowed 18,078 hectares to be encroached on arrested and charged. The MP also said 17,101 hectares of titled land in the Maasai Mau block should be freed of human settlement.

He threatened to move to court to demand the expulsion of a community from the forest following a fresh plan to excise another 17,900 hectares for resettlement. Mr Kenta further wants the holders of title deeds on five parcels of land that was extended into the Maasai Mau forest in the 1990s to be evicted immediately. He cited Enkaroni group ranch as an example, claiming it was extended into the forest from the original 1,597 hectares to 5,582 hectares, with the extra 3,985 hectares being illegally occupied by 676 settlers.

ILLEGAL TITLES ISSUED

He said another 340 settlers encroached on Sisian group ranch after taking over 768 hectares of the forest, while Enoosokon group ranch increased by 653 hectares from the original 155 hectares and 158 illegal titles were issued. Mr Kenta also claims that about 8,000 settlers invaded Enekishomi group ranch after its original 1,748 hectares extended into the forest to 9,748 hectares. Other significant excisions, according to Mr Kenta, happened on the northern side and include the Olposimoru Forest Reserve leading to Illmotiok and Nkoben and Ololulunga settlements.

The most irregular excisions were carried out during the establishment of the 28,500-hectare Nessuit and Kaptagich settlement schemes for which 18,516 title deeds were issued, the MP said. Six years ago, the government carried out a verification of Maasai Mau Forest claimants and 12,000 families were found to be eligible for the Sh3 billion compensation package. The MP’s concerns come as a political row is escalating between Deputy President William Ruto and some Rift Valley leaders following alleged fresh evictions of settlers from Olpusimoru Forest in Maasai Mau. Pundits say the evictions could constitute a key political agenda in campaigns for the 2017 elections.

Courtersy of Daily Nation

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