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Maa lobby asks State to probe Rift leaders for incitement over Mau evictions

By People Reporter
Friday, September 6th, 2019
Senator Kipchumba Murkomen.
In summary
  • Through a lobby group dubbed Maa Unity Organisation, the community has fingered Senate Leader of  Majority Kipchumba Murkomen, who is also Elgeyo Marakwet Senator, Aaron Cheruiyot (Kericho) and MPs Oscar Sudi (Kapseret) and Nelson Koech (Belgut).

By Eric Wainaina

The Maa community wants the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) to investigate and institute legal proceedings against some Rift Valley leaders, who they accuse of incitement over the ongoing evictions from Maasai Mau forest.

Through a lobby group dubbed Maa Unity Organisation, the community has fingered Senate Leader of  Majority Kipchumba Murkomen, who is also Elgeyo Marakwet Senator, Aaron Cheruiyot (Kericho) and MPs Oscar Sudi (Kapseret) and Nelson Koech (Belgut).

In a joint statement read on their behalf by Silantoi Saturai, the group— which includes former Narok County Council chair Lalena ole Nchoe— accused the leaders of “perpetrating violence which borders hate speech and incitement of communities”.

They accused some leaders from the Kajenjin community of playing politics with the Mau issue, and asked leaders from all the affected communities to conduct themselves with decorum as they approach the matter.

“We wish to caution political players, especially legislators, against using inflammatory statements and engagements that are indicative of malice, chicanery, dishonesty and lack of knowledge of the Maasai Mau forest question. Insults, character assassination or outright lies won’t help the stationed,” read the statement in part.

Silantoi said the community was unhappy with the conduct of the leaders because of their continued attack on Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko and Rift Valley regional commissioner George Natembeya over their roles in the eviction exercise.

“We regret the unfounded, almost childish, insults targeting Tobiko by Kalenjin leaders making this (eviction) a Tobiko and Natembeya affair,” she said.

Early this week, Murkomen accused Tobiko of pursuing his own agenda in the Mau eviction, claiming the Cabinet had not sanctioned it.

Ole Nchoe said Tobiko and Natembeya were performing their official duties and asked the government not to relent on the Mau evictions. He added that the impact of Mau invasion had affected millions of people and wildlife and “should not be allowed to continue”. 

“Numerous rivers originate from Mau Forest. They include Ewaso Ng’iro, Sondu River, Yala, Mara, and Njoro, which feed lakes Turkana,Magadi, Victoria through Uganda and Lake Nerton in Tanzania and flow on to Malawi. There are millions of people living downstream (and) these are by far many more than the few thousands illegally staking claim to this important water tower,”  said Ole Nchoe .

He added that once the relocation is complete, the government should erect an electric fence around the forest to keep invaders at bay.

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