In Summary
  • The court certified the matter as urgent and directed that it be heard on priority basis so that it is concluded quickly.
  • The 600 settlers filed the application after the government issued an eviction notice.
  • The government filed a cross-petition seeking to quash the title deeds which it termed as illegal.

The Environment and Land Court in Nakuru has declined to suspend the ongoing Mau Forest evictions by the government.

A three-Judge bench led by Justice Sila Munyao declined to grant injunction orders sought by the 600 land owners seeking to stop the government from proceeding with the ejection of the settlers said to have encroached the Maasai Mau Forest land.

But the court certified the matter as urgent and directed that it be heard on priority basis so that it is concluded quickly.

URGENT

“The court is not persuaded to grant the interim orders sought by the applicants herein. The court, however, notes that the petition is urgent, thus directs the parties to file and serve their responses within seven days each before it is heard,” said Justice Munyao.

The 600 settlers filed the application dated August 27 in relation to the government’s decision to issue a 90 days window period for the settlers to leave the forest.

Through lawyer Kimutai Bosek, the individuals said they are apprehensive that they will be forcibly evicted from their homes before the case is determined after getting information that the Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko and Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya ordered their eviction.

REVOKE TITLE DEEDS

This was after the government published the names of 600 people whose title deeds it sought to revoke for allegedly having been acquired illegally.

Mr Bosek told the court that the situation on the ground is tense as the government has already sent officers “to intimidate and threaten the settlers into moving out of their homes”.

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