Mau: North Rift MPs hit back at Raila

July 28, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 28 – North Rift Parliamentarians on Tuesday scoffed at statements attributed to Prime Minister Raila Odinga who reportedly said he was ready to lose the region’s support over the Mau evictions controversy.

Chepalungu MP Isaac Ruto said the PM had already become unpopular in the area for his stand on the removal of settlers from the area.

“He has already lost a lot of (support); in fact he only lost the last one when he made that statement and he will continue losing even more,” he said.

The Parliamentarians from the North Rift opposed the Prime Minister on his handling of the relocations of settlers in the Mau Forest Complex.

Mr Ruto claimed the PM had changed his stand on the steps to be taking in relocating and compensating the settlers adding that they cannot trust him to represent their interests.

He said there must be a structured approach of identifying and compensating the genuine settlers in the forest adding that legislators from the area will not allow brutal evictions of settlers similar to the ones that were witnessed in 2005.

“It is the Prime Minister who is being dishonest when he says he doesn’t want to compensate because a lot of compensation has taken place during his tenure,” he said.

At the same time Belgut MP and Energy Assistant Minister Charles Keter also dismissed the PM`s assertion that the MPs were politicising the Mau issue.

“Can we be told what politics is? We represent the people he is talking about, so if they ask me to talk about this issue what am I supposed to do? ” he posed.

“He is also a political leader, he is an MP for Langata just as I am for Chepalungu; does that give him more right to discuss this issue than I have?” Mr Ruto added.

Meanwhile, Narok South MP Nkoi-dila ole Lankas is calling for the prosecutions of government officials who were involved in annexing parts of the Mau Complex.

He said people who obtained land from the irregular move should also be investigated adding that the country was paying dearly as a result of their actions.

“This is where we must get it right that the first allotees who really knew who collaborated with the officials of the ministry of lands and amended maps and changed boundaries to create land for sale this are the people the government should never think of compensating”.

“These people were engaging in corruption and the government must bring them to book,” he said.

He said that only third party holders’ allotees of the land in the forest should be compensated

He added that illegal loggers who had encroached on the forest should be evicted immediately to facilitate for the beginning of the rehabilitation and conservation plan.


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