22 February 2011
The Director of Kenya Forest Service David Mbugua has already issued a 14-day notice to the residents to move out failure to which the government will forcefully evict them.A section of leaders from Baringo County are up in arms against the government's decision to evict residents of Muchongoi area believed to be part of Marmanet and Olarabel forest.
Koibatek County Council Chairman Cyrus Kimetto and Human Rights Activist Kiptoo Kimosop said the notice dated February 2 is giving the residents sleepless nights contemplating their next move.
They said most of the current Muchongoi residents were born there and know no other place to call home since they have lived in the area since 1971.
The council chairman accused Lands minister James Orengo of engaging in activism in his bid to reclaim grabbed government land instead of showing Kenyans the way in a sober manner. "He should not be like his predecessors who used to say that a title deed is just a piece of paper," he said. He said the government should recognise the legality of the title deeds it had issued. Kimosop said the KFS is neither serious nor honest as Muchongoi is the ancestral land for local people.
The two were speaking at Kabel Trading Centre where they had gone to console families which lost houses, merchandise and household goods worth over Sh11 million in a fire.The director of CDF Simon Kiprono Chepkwony who was also present during the visit urged the government to through the Ministry of Special Programs and other donor agencies to come to the aid of the fire victims.
Kiprono said the victims lost property accumulated for over 20 years hence there was need for concerted efforts to enable them return to their normal lives.
Other speakers at the meeting called on the government to reinstate the original boundaries of Baringo county which extended to Rumuruti and Nyahururu Thompson Falls in Laikipia.
They were quick to add that this should not be construed to mean that local residents have intentions of evicting members of other ethnic communities from the place.