Kenya MP denies forest land link

July 30, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 30 – Kuresoi MP Zakayo Cheruiyot on Thursday denied reports that he was one of the beneficiaries of land allocations in Mau Forest as shown in a list tabled by Prime Minister Raila Odinga in Parliament on Wednesday.

Making a personal statement in Parliament, Mr Cheruiyot alleged a mischievous attempt to link him to the allocation.

The list had linked the former Internal Security Permanent Secretary to some 1,955ha of land identified as Osupuko/Ololulunga/Nkaroni parcel 9,122, which was allocated to one Z.P Cheruiyot.

“In the same list, there seems to be an attempt to amend the name (Z.P Cheruiyot) to read Zakayo Cheruiyot. I wish to categorically state that I am not the Z.P. Cheruiyot allottee of the parcel number 9,122. Further I have no land in Nkaroni area,” he said.

He said he will not be derailed from his efforts to see squatters in Mau being compensated before they are relocated from the forest.

“I take great exception to attempts to derail my consistent demand for the rights of settlers in Kiptororo, Tinet, Barargett and Mauche and other Kenyans affected by the similar problems; together with other leaders I shall continue to champion for their rights and welfare without fear or favour, in accordance with the Constitution and laws of Kenya,” he said.

 “Should there be land in this same area, I am willing to donate it freely to the Member for Langata (Prime Minister Raila Odinga) to give to squatters in his constituency.”  

The list which is part of a report by a taskforce appointed by the Prime Minister to look into Mau Forest Complex listed some MPs and aides to former President Moi as among prominent persons said to own huge chunks of land in the Mau Forest Complex.

Meanwhile, women parliamentarians are urging their colleagues to avoid politicising the Mau relocation issue and concentrate on the task at hand.

Speaking on behalf of the Kenya Women Parliamentarians Association (KEWOPA), Nominated MP Rachael Shebesh said the government should prioritise compensating those who are likely to be left homeless by the evictions.

“Let’s not make a political competition, let us ensure that we address the issues of women and children. We are urging the government to prioritise the payment of compensation to facilitate the quick relocation and resettlement of those in Mau so that we can start on rehabilitation,” she said. 

“We must protect and conserve the Mau and other water towers. We know the destruction is current and is an emergency,” she said.

Sotik MP Joyce Laboso reaffirmed that all MPs backed the evictions but stressed that they must be carried out in a structured and humane manner.

“We don’t want to come and get another set of Internally Displaced Persons because of the Mau. We have not even completed settling the ones that were there. We are being informed that the ones who were evicted from the Aberdares and Mt Kenya were out in the cold for over ten years; it is only now that the have been resettled in Solio Ranch,” she said.


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