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.
Land titling process in Nakuru County might face a hitch this is after a Nakuru based Human Rights defender raised concerns over what he termed is illegal allocation of parcels of land in Gilgil Sub County by corrupt cartels.
Addressing media after launching his complains with the Directorate of criminal investigation offices in Nakuru, Moses Gitonga from National Citizen Engagement Forum now wants President Uhuru Kenyatta to halt the process until the concerns raised are addressed.
The President is supposed to be in Nakuru for the issuance of title deeds but Gitonga says this will be contrary to the law arguing that several parcels of land in Gilgil Sub County have not been surveyed.He adds that the map that has been produced for titling has not been approved.
“Cartels have subdivided land in Gilgil coming up with a map without survey and they want the titles to be issued out. I have written petitions to all the offices and even appeared before the senate but all in vain. I therefore want the President to halt the process until the issues of concern are addressed” said Gitonga.
Gitonga says the cartels have continued to derail his efforts as he has written to all the concerned offices but with no response.
He says he has reported threats to his life over the matter and obtained 4 OBs on the same but no action has been taken so far hence his address to the Head of state to intervene in the corruption surrounding the Land issue in Nakuru.
He says his later to Governor Lee Kinyanjui in July last year over corruption in the Ministry of Lands has not been responded to date raising eyebrows.
“In Nakuru here I have written to Governor over the same but up to now he has not responded to me wondering is he in support of corruption?” said Gitonga.
According to the Human Rights defender, land grabbing was on the rise and accused county officials of conspiring with unscrupulous businessmen to steal public and private land.Our attempts to reach the Lands department in Nakuru county was in vain.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has on many occasions assured of the Jubilee Government’s determination to ensure all genuine land owners get title deeds.
He said title deeds will no longer be a campaign tool to be used for political mileage during the electioneering period.
PHOTO/Pristone Mambili:Moses Gitonga from National Citizen Engagement Forum.