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No compensation for Mau Forest evictees. Court rules

No compensation for Mau Forest evictees. Court rules

A
Narok court has given Mau Forest evictees a real shock for possessing illegally
issued title deeds.

The
Narok Environment and Lands Court ruled that the government was justified in
evicting a large number of families from the valuable water tower.

To
add more pain to the wound, the court ruled that the evicted residents were not
entitled to any compensation or resettlement by the government.

Kenyan
authorities evicted 30,000 people from their homes in the Maasai Mau section of
the Mau Forest in 2020.

Land compensation for Mama Ngina University expansion pushed to next regime

The evicted, many of whom had lived there for 20 years or more, claim they have
been stripped of land they paid for and have nowhere to go. A student at Narok
County’s Koitabai Primary School then gave a detailed account of how the heavy
presence of Kenya Forest Service (KFS) officers armed to the teeth and engaged
in military combat forced them out of their classroom, scrambling for safety.

The
student testified at the East African Court of Justice in the case seeking
justice for children whose rights were violated during the evictions. Mau was
designated a forest in the 1950s and is Kenya’s largest remaining indigenous
forest and water tower, according to the Kenya Forest Service.

The
court ruled that;

1.     The allocation of
additional land to five land adjudication sections was declared null and void
by the court.

2.     There was no evidence
presented to support illegal evictions, and no evidence that force was used in
evictions.

3.     The Narok county
government must supervise the fencing of forest land within 12 months of the
judgment date.

4.     Petitioners are not
entitled to compensation and have no basis to support evictee compensation
because compensation cannot be sought for illegally acquired land, and
interested parties who purchased land within the forest are not entitled to
compensation.

5.     Petitioners’ titles were
declared null and void.

6.     The Maasai Mau forest will
be managed by the Kenya Forest Service.

7.     Any illegal settlers in
the forest are to vacate within 90 days, failure to which eviction orders will
take course.

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