Ogiek Community fault government over failure to implement Arusha Landmark ruling

The Ogiek Community has differed with the ongoing process by a multi-agency team to resolve the Eastern Mau land dispute that has led to evictions and ethnic clashes.

The minority community now says the multi-agency team has continued to go about their duties without involving them as indigenous community of the area.

Addressing the media in Nakuru on Wednesday, the Ogiek Community through their Council of Elders say they have had harsh times for the last over 20 years in seeking justice for their land.

They are pointing an accusing finger at the government of Kenya for delaying the implementation of the Arusha Landmark ruling of the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights.

On 26 May 2017 in Arusha, the court ruled in favor of the Ogiek indigenous peoples in their claim against the Kenyan government, for consistent violations and denial of their land rights.

The Ogiek Community through Council of Elders Chair John Sironga have opposed the government’s move to have them get 5 acres of alternative land each saying it is a violation of the Arusha Landmark ruling concerning their community land.

“As a community, we are opposed to what the government is doing. Let them involve us and ensure they act as per the Arusha Landmark ruling” said Sironga.

According to Elder Sironga, the Ogiek Community that has 22 clans will not take it easy if the government will continue to violate the Arusha Landmark ruling.

They have vowed to stage a major demonstration from Mau East to the statehouse to demand implementation of the Arusha Landmark ruling.

“We will not allow what the government is doing to us as a community. President Uhuru Kenyatta must implement the Arusha Landmark ruling or else we shall demonstrate to the statehouse over the same” said Sironga.

Sentiments echoed by Ogiek Council of Elders Vice Chair Martin Lele who said the program being done by the government in Mariashoni and Nessuit areas is a violation of their rights.

According to Lele, the program should now be stopped until their involvement as a community is considered.

“The ongoing program is against the court ruling and should be stopped. As a community we need to be involved fully” said Lele.

Human Rights defenders call for action to end unrest in Nessuit, Mariashoni

Human Rights defenders have joined hands in piling pressure on the Government to establish the political truth and solutions in the Mau Region, Nakuru and Narok counties.

In a statement issued in Nakuru on Thursday, the Human Rights defenders say the lives of the affected communities in Nakuru by the conflicts in Mauche, Nessuit and Mau Eco system will only come to normal if the government moves with speed to find a lasting solution.

According to the statement undersigned by affected communities, Midrift HURINET, Kenya Human Rights Commission, Centre for Enhancing Democracy and Good Governance as well as Freedom of Information Network, the conflicts on the border of Nakuru and Narok counties has continued to pose a challenge to the communities.

Led by Davis Malombe from Kenya Human Rights Commission, the Human Rights defenders together with the affected communities have cited lack of political goodwill as hindrance towards amicable solution in the conflicts.

“Lack of political goodwill has continued to hinder amicable solutions in the conflict prone areas such as Nessuit, Mariashoni and Ndoshua most affected” stated Malombe.

Muraya Wanyambugi from Centre for Enhancing Democracy and Good Governance adding that the conflicts can be traced back to historical injustices.

He cited that court actions have been there as communities try to seek Justice but all has been in vain with lack of title deeds still a challenge leading to the conflicts.

The conflicts according to the Human Rights defenders have led to forceful evictions, injuries in areas where there was excessive use of force by state.

They are now calling on the government to move with speed and find a lasting solution in the whole issue to avert more suffering of the communities.

Through recommendations read by Trizah Ombewa from Midrift HURINET, the Human Rights defenders want the affected families to commit to cessation of violence, peaceful and mutual co-existence.

National Cohesion and Integration Commission in collaboration with civil society should also ensure joint peace and justice committees to foster intercommunity peace.

They are also recommending the enactment of Nakuru County Peace Bill and implementation of Nakuru County Violence Prevention Policy especially on land issues.

The established taskforce on Mau Forest to look into issues has also been urged to present its findings and recommendations with immediate effect.

In addressing the issue of cut lines, the Human Rights defenders together with the affected communities say the government should come clear and separate settlement and forest land but in consideration of the affected families.

They have also called on the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution to consider dropping charges perceived to be politically motivated and preferred against the affected communities.

The Independent Policing Oversight Authority(IPOA) and the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights(KNCHR) have been called upon to consider investigations into the atrocities allegedly committed by the state security, administration and forest apparatus during the  evictions and other operations.

Meanwhile, the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has also been urged to investigate and prosecute the political elite allegedly inciting and dividing communities.While National Land Commission called upon to re-possess the land that was illegally and irregularly acquired by the undeserving elite.

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.


Nessuit Skirmishes unfortunate – Senator Susan Kihika

The ongoing skirmishes at Nessuit in Njoro are pulling the country back to a point in our history that we would never wish to experience again.

In her statement following the current unrest in Njoro which is in Nakuru County, Senator Susan Kihika has lamented the situation describing it as terrible and unfortunate.

“We find ourselves in a terrible situation. Life has been lost, many injured and others displaced at Nessuit in Njoro,” wrote the senator on her official Facebook page.

The unrest at Nessuit pitting two tribes against each other has escalated in the last two days. According to a local administration officer, at least three people had been confirmed dead by Thursday evening.

In addition, several houses have been torched, schools closed and tens of residents have been displaced with others spending the night in the bushes.

“My heart goes out to the many men and women who cannot sleep soundly at night. It goes out to the hundreds of children who have to spend nights in the cold, who cannot play in peace and who cannot access education,” lamented Senator Kihika.

Although security personnel have been heavily deployed in the area, the situation seems to have yet been put under control. Residents from neighbouring wards of Marioshoni and Mau Narok have also made unconfirmed reports about rising tension in their areas.

Susan Kihika has appealed to the residents to embrace peace and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms saying that residents needed to go back to their normal lives.

error: Content is protected !!