Court issues conservatory orders barring titling process in Mau East

It is reprieve for Ogiek Community after Environment and Lands Court in Nakuru on Tuesday issued conservatory orders barring the ongoing boundary demarcation and titling process in Mau East.

The ruling was issued by Justice John Mutungi who cited that the process is in violation of the Landmark ruling by the African Court on Human Rights in Arusha,Tanzania.

It will be recalled that on May 27, 2017 the Arusha based court made a ruling in favour of the Ogiek Community to go back to their ancestral land in the Mau Forest.

However, the Government has continued to demarcate land in the area with aim to issue title deeds to each 5 acres.

The Ogiek Community on the other hand opposing the move and demanding that they be issued a communal title deed as per the Arusha ruling.

This even as on September 21, 2020 a Multi-agency team was formed by the National government to establish the real boundaries in the Mau Forest but the team had no mandate to issue title deeds.

President Uhuru Kenyatta was expected on Friday last week to issue title deeds to the residents in that area but this did not take place.

And the conservatory orders issued by Environment and Lands Court in Nakuru on Tuesday is a reprieve to the Ogiek Community who had moved to court challenging the process.

The orders remain in place until February 1, when the matter shall come up for mention.

Report on state of health, education among minority and indigenous peoples launched

A report on the state of health and education among minority and indigenous peoples in Kenya has been launched.

The report aims at addressing the challenges that the minority and indigenous peoples in Kenya have been facing towards realization of quality health and education services.

Speaking in Nakuru on Thursday during the launch of the report, Ogiek Peoples Development Program(ODPP) Director Daniel Kobei, this will go a long way in pushing the national government to speed up the process of securing the lands of the Endorois, Sengwer and the Ogiek communities.

He added that there is need for government to implement the decisions of the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights, the African Commission on Peoples and Human Rights and its own laws for example the Community Land Act.

“The report is now a tool that we shall be using to push for better services as indigenous and minority” said Kobei.

According to Kobei, the Ogiek of Kuresoi should be supported in their quest to convert their freehold title deeds into a community title to stem the loss of land through land sales as well as the Sengwer of Embobut land rights in the forest glades to be recognized, respected and fulfilled and a joint management plan for Embobut forest.

The report that was developed after a research among the minority and indigenous peoples in Kenya also recommends that OPDP and other Civil Society Organizations to ensure the participation of the communities at all the stages of the budget making process both at the national and county levels as required by law.

The report recommends increasing the number of dispensaries and availability of maternities in all the community areas and the upgrading of at least one dispensary to a health centre in all the community areas (Laboot, Sandai and Mangai).

It further recommends an 4wd Ambulance in Chepkitale, Kapolet, Embobut,Sasimwani and Mochongoi and Awer areas to enable speedy response to emergencies.

In Education, there is need to increase the number of ECDs and place them in the villages to reduce the distance young children walk to ECDs centers in primary schools.

The report also recommends provision of at least one secondary school in Chepkitale and Mangai for Mt. Elgon Ogiek and Awer respectively while building of boarding school is recommended to the families that move from one place to another

Researcher and Consultant Kanyinke Sena while presenting the report also indicated that there was need to increase the ratio of teachers to pupils as well as government to ensure that there is plenty supply of books and laptops.

“Teachers should be trained to use government issued tablets. OPDP and CIDP Could partner with universities to teach ICT kills to teachers and students in Ogiek, Endorois, Sengwer and Awer territories” said Sena.

The challenge of lack of technical institute and colleges will be addressed if the government will ensure provision of at least one technical college/polyethnic in Chepkitale, Embobut,Laboi, Mangai and Mariashoni and enter partnerships with neighboring institutions including universities to create a quota for students from marginalized communities.

Human Rights defender Gitahi Githuku whom spoke after the launch of the report lauding OPDP for coming up with the document.

He called on the minority and indigenous peoples in Kenya to read the report and join in advocating for its implementation.

“This is a milestone in the lives of minority and indigenous peoples in Kenya. They now have a tool that they can use to push for their rights” said Gitahi.

Sentiments echoed by Winny Muinde from SDG Kenya-a consortium of CSOs that have been pushing towards realization of Sustainable Development Goals.

While noting that Health and Education are among the United Nations 17 SDGs, she called on minority and indigenous peoples in Kenya to use the report in realization of the same.

“As you all know Health and Education are among the UN 17 SDGs and therefore we are proud of OPDP for the report that will inform the services they get” she said.




Kathambi lauds Government’s move to address Eastern Mau conflict

Long time land issue in Eastern Mau will be a thing of past.

This is after Government stepped in with series of meetings to find amicable long term solution.

Speaking on Wednesday at Nessuit Primary School in Njoro,area MP Charity Kathambi expressed optimism that a lasting solution will be reached.

“With the Development on this issue I have no doubt whatsoever that we shall reach a solution” she said.

Kathambi who has been on forefront in advocating for peaceful co-existence in Njoro also challenged the Communities to embrace peace.

The meeting was also attended by Riftvalley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya who reiterated government’s commitment towards finding a lasting solution.

It is a follow-ups of series of other meetings and engagements to find an amicable solution.

The meeting follows a directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta to resolve long standing conflicts  over land by December 11, 2020.

The goverment set up a special multi-agency task team which will lead the exercise of establishing the cutline, conduct an audit before issuance of Title deeds in December.

MP Charity Kathambi’s mission to make Njoro a better constituency

Charity Kathambi Chepkwony is a first time member of parliament for Njoro.

Though born and raised in Meru,Kathambi has Njoro at heart.

The vocal Nakuru Legislator has a Master’s  in Community  Development studies from Mount Kenya University besides BBA(Marketing option) from KeMU,Diploma in Sales and Marketing from University of Nairobi as well as Diploma in Clearing and,Shipping and Documentation.

Her first time trial in politics was in 2013 but she did not make it.

After re-strategizing,she came back in 2017 and won the Njoro Parliamentary seat on Jubilee ticket.

Her win supprised many male competitors who felt women had no room in politics.

But for the Njoro seat that was being eyed by five independent male candidates including former MP  Joseph Kiuna,Kathambi made her way becoming the first female MP for Njoro on Jubilee ticket.

Since her election,MP Kathambi been vocal on matters education,infrastructure,peaceful co-existence among communities in Njoro.

Kathambi has continued to ensure transformation of Njoro constituecy that has had scars of ethnic violence of 1992,1997 and 2008 as well as the recent 2020 skirmishes in Nessuit,Mauche and Mau Forest bordering areas.

In an interview with this writer,MP Kathambi is categorical that hers is to ensure a peaceful and transformed Njoro.

“I have a duty to unite my constituents and ensure development” she said.

The God-fearing Kathambi adds that her role as elected leader is to help correct the mistakes of past leadership by ensuring there is no discrimination against anyone on matters service delivery.

Under her leadership,already 30 classrooms have been built during the 2017/2018 Financial Year.

She has also been able to commission construction of 18 roads in the six wards of Njoro.

Kathambi also lobbied for the refurbishment of Civil Registration office in Njoro to allow residents seeking such services to get access easily without travelling to Nakuru town.

But even with the development agenda,Kathambi has not been spared when it comes to criticisms from her male competitors.

However,she says it will be mad if her to exchange words with her competitors.

“Time for politics will come,as for now,my focus is on development agenda for Njoro”she said.

Kathambi who is also a member of the Kenya Women Parliamentary Association (KEWOPA) has been on the forefront in calling on National Government to come up with lasting solution towards ensuring peaceful co-existence among locals in Mauche,Mau Narok and Nessuit areas of Njoro.


MP Kathambi wants illegal Mau evictions stopped

Njoro Member of Parliament Charity Kathambi has told off Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko over directive to evict families from Mau East.

Addressing media on Sunday at Mauche Primary, Kathambi noted that the illegal evictions will see not less that  20,000 households affected during this harsh economic times occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic.

While terming the decision as uncalled for, the Legislator faulted Tobiko over sentiments that some titles issued to residents were mere papers.

“I was really surprised when CS Tobiko said some titles in areas such as Mariashoni,Likia,Logoman and Sururu are just papers hence the families will be evicted. I am afraid to say if this goes on then Njoro Constituency will be affected as more than 20,000 households will be affected” she said.

The Njoro Legislator who sits in the Environmental Committee of the National Assembly also revealing that the committee had met Tobiko over the issue.

She says the committee had made a recommendation to the CS to assess the forest cut-lines in the country and gazette them.

However, Kathambi says the CS seems to have gone against the same recommendation by ordering evictions without even clear information on the cut-lines.

Kathambi has now appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to step in and suspend the national evictions and as well as demolitions over Ngong Forest Land.

While maintaining that in Njoro no local has crossed the cutlines, Kathambi added that the Big 4 agenda on food security and housing will be affected through the demolitions and the evictions.

“As champions of Environmental conservation, we want to also call on President to send a team to confirm that no one has crossed cutlines here in Njoro.Whatever Tobiko is doing has nothing to do with the conservation but a crisis to livelihoods and that is why I am appealing to the President to hear the cry of the people and save them from this crisis of evictions” said Kathambi.

Thirteen people injured in a road accident along the Njoro-Mau Narok road

Thirteen people are recuperating from various injuries at the Nakuru Level Five hospital after they were involved in a road accident at Mau along the Njoro to Mau Narok road.

The accident happened after the matatu vehicle they were travelling in lost control and veered off the road.

The Mau-Narok Nissan Sacco owned matatu is said to have been on high speed heading to Mwisho wa Lami from Nakuru when it tried to overtake a truck but slid off the road and rolled several times causing the injuries.

According to an eye witness through a phone interview, six people among the thirteen had critical injuries and all of them have been rushed to Nakuru level five for more medical examinations.

Confirming the incident, Njoro OCPD Mohammed Huka said that the victims are in a stable condition.

The accident happening barely one week after another accident happened on Wednesday last week in the evening at Judea along the same road involving a tractor ferrying carrots to Mau Narok trading centre.

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