NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 4 – Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen has accused Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko of pursuing his own agenda in Mau, claiming that the Cabinet has not sanctioned evictions.
While addressing the press on Wednesday, Murkomen said the Jubilee government remains resolute on its quest for national unity and will not allow ‘political dealers’ to use Mau to divide Kenyans on ethnic basis.
“The truth is that the government of Kenya led by President Uhuru Kenyatta has not tabled in its own Cabinet, a decision on how to resettle the people of Mau. The truth is also that the Cabinet has not decided on eviction of anybody and neither does the Jubilee government believe in eviction of its citizens. This is a decision made by a single Cabinet Secretary and a Regional Commissioner who are determined to act on an illegality,” Murkomen said.
The Elgeyo Marakwet Senator further told off other political leaders who, he said, are taking advantage of the Mau issue to discredit President Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto.
He told off politicians he accused of coercing President Kenyatta and his deputy to pronounce themselves on the planned evictions saying the two are national leaders and cannot be seen to be drawn to ethnic politics.
“President Uhuru Kenyatta is the president of all Kenyans, of all tribes and of all communities. His deputy is also the deputy president of the republic of Kenya and not of the Kalenjin community. So, the point that should go out to these busybodies is that the government of Kenya understands their political schemes,” he said.
Cherangany MP Joshua Kutuny had earlier challenged the DP to publicly declare his stand on Mau evictions, a call that Murkomen termed as pointless.
Kutuny emphasized the need for the government to provide alternative solutions.
He further stated that the Mau issue is a challenge which has bedeviled past administrations and should be dealt with conclusively.
“When there was an issue with Gikomba traders we saw President Uhuru Kenyatta go there and he addressed the people and assured them, of their businesses protection. Our people are being evicted in Mau and their houses being burnt down, yet we have one of our own as the second most powerful person in government. What has he done or what is he planning to do to ensure that even if these people are removed from Mau, they will be resettled elsewhere?” Kutuny queried.
He also stressed the need for leaders to responsibly handle the matter which has seen the expansive forest being defaced.
On Tuesday, Emurua Dikirr MP Johanna Ngeno and two MCAs were arrested after leading protests over the second phase of Mau Forest evictions.
Ngeno, MCAs Jefferson Langat (Olulunga ward) and Philemon Aruasa (Melelo ward) were arrested moments after they arrived at Melelo to address the settlers.
A week ago, the government issued a 60-day ultimatum to over 10,000 people residing in the Mau Forest to vacate the area or be evicted.
A ten-member taskforce was also chosen to come up with an elaborate plan to ensure that the second phase of the Mau eviction goes on as planned.
The Chairperson of the team, George Natembeya, who is also the Rift Valley Regional Commissioner, warned leaders against politicizing the process.