Ogiek community call for their inclusion in Ruto’s Government

Members of the indigenous Ogiek Community from Narok, Baringo, Keircho,Nandi , Uasin Gishu and Nakuru Counties have called on the National Government to ensure they are included in the Kenya Kwanza government.

Addressing journalists in Nakuru on Friday, the group while lauding President William Ruto and his Deputy Rigathi Gachagua’s victory, the said time is now to focus on development agenda in all parts of the country.

Led by Chairman Ogiek Council of Elders John Sironga, they lauded the effort made in the last regime where one of their on was nominated to Senate.

Sironga added that in the same spirit of recognizing the minority communities, Ogiek should be part of the current Kenya Kwanza administration through various appointments.

According to him, the Ogiek community has many sons and daughters who are well educated and are fit to hold positions in the current regime.

“We laud the current leadership of President William Ruto and his deputy Gachagua. We know he recognizes all communities including us. We pray that he may remember us in his government just as he did in the previous regime” said Sironga.

The community that has been crying for justice since the Arusha Court Landmark ruling in their favor is optimistic that the Kenya Kwanza administration will implement the ruling.

Sironga noted that already the current regime has shown respect for the courts as six judges who were appointed but rejected by former President Uhuru Kenyatta are now sworn in through the intervention of President William Ruto.

“We are optimistic that the current regime will ensure we get justice by implementing the Arusha Landmark ruling” said Sironga.

Sentiments echoed by Francis Maritim- the Chair Ogiek Community in Kericho county.

Maritim noted that lack of representation of the community at the national level will be a blow as their rights will be violated.

“As a community we fully voted for the Kenya Kwanza and time is now that we get proper representation” said Maritim.

The women from the community expressed optimism in the Kenya Kwanza Government.

Led by Alice Cheruto from Mau East in Nakuru County, they said as women in the community, they have suffered for long and time is now for President Ruto to consider their rights.

“How can it be that other communities are recognized but we are not? Time is now that we be recognized through appointments in governm

The Ogiek are the indigenous and present owners of Kenya’s Mau Forest, which is their ancestral homeland.

In May 2017, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights recognized their right to the land and declared their evictions at the hands of the government illegal.

The Court held that the Ogiek have a right to own, use and occupy their ancestral lands and that conservation could not be used to justify curtailing these rights.

The Court also concluded that the Ogiek could not be blamed for the degradation of the Mau Forest Complex.

But the government continues to flout the judgment, evicting Ogiek communities from the Forest and delaying the return of their land.

Its handling of the process has been neither transparent, nor honest, and it has repeatedly failed to meaningfully consult with the Ogiek community in fulfilling its obligations.




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.

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