The new plan to begin the second phase of Mau evictions that targets the grabbers in the forest has seen to it that 35 lawyers head to court in a bid to stop the proceedings.
About 60, 000 families live in the Mau forest, and the evictions are expected to disrupt their lives and livelihood.
For instance, in case the government goes ahead with the eviction plans, 31 schools with learning capacity of 10,000 children will be affected.
The lawyers therefore led by Moses Kurgat and Hillary Sigei together with other Law Society of Kenya (LSK) members have moved to court in a bid to stop the evictions.
“Residents and vulnerable school going children will lose greatly due to these evictions. The phase two of the evictions are meant to be more harmful rather than helpful to the residents that have been living there,” read the petition from the lawyers.
The lawyers have received a boost after Environment and Lands Court Judge Silas Munyao made a directive for the case to be heard on Wednesday, with orders served to the respondents on the same.
The first phase of Mau evictions were encumbered with politics and different politicians picking diverse stands.
Different leaders were blamed for the same and faulted in a bid to tarnish their political mileage.
The rift valley leaders have been cornered on a tight spot, more so the Deputy President William Ruto on which side he is on.
— NTV Kenya (@ntvkenya) August 27, 2019
Mau schools shut: Government orders 15 schools shut
Gov’t keen on effecting planned evictions. Over 4000 pupils to be affected by eviction
Phase two evictions to take 60 days
— Citizen TV Kenya (@citizentvkenya) August 28, 2019
The government’s side is the one orchestrating the evictions and with the DP being in government, he is bound to support government projects.
However, the region also serve s as his strong hold and any attempt to support the evictions would put him on the spot ahead of 2022 elections.
He is thus in a spot, not certain of the decision to take.
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Among the front liners against the evictions is former Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto who has instigated dialogue and engagement with other government stakeholders.
A section of the Rift leaders have asked the government to provide health facilities and better houses and living conditions to the people living in Mau forest before the evictions are commenced.
The first phase of Mau evictions took place 14 years ago, where the then Education CS provided aid for the children and pupils that were going to school. Ksh 4.9 Million was released to cater for the 1,400 pupils whose parents were displaced.
“A total of 70 teachers will be redeployed to cater for the 10,000 families and 3,000 school going children that were displaced following the eviction,” said Prof. Saitoti.