Govt Sued in Regional Court Over Mau Eviction Saga

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Attorney General Paul Kihara Kariuki is battling it out at the East African Court of Justice over the controversial Mau Forest eviction.

In the case that was filed by Kericho Governor, Paul Kiprono, the government has been taken to task to explain the inhumane evictions that left thousands of residents homeless.

The case, which was filed in 2018, finally got the nod of the jury who started listening to the submissions on Monday, September 28.

One of the prominent issues raised by the petition, is the displacement of 5,000 minors, eviction of families from their ancestral homes and farms that rendered them squatters and forcing them to live in temporary camps without adequate food, shelter, sanitation, medical care, and education.

Governor Kiprono added that President Uhuru Kenyatta's government has not provided any measures to support the affected families.AG Kihara denied all the allegations labeled against the government.

The government argued that its security organs did not carry out the forceful evictions, destruction of property and homes, violated rights of the minor, and acted contrary to the due process of law and in contravention of the treaty.

According to the response issued in court, the Kenya government acted in line with Article 30(1) of the treaty guiding the eviction process from the government's land.

The government contended that it followed all the due process of law to remove outlawed encroachments into the forest to contain destruction and no eviction done on land adjacent to the forest as alleged.

The government further told the court that the public was involved through consultations and adequate notices issued beforehand which were obeyed by the evictees who returned to their original homes and not residing in any displaced camps.

The clashes that emerged after the eviction in some parts of Narok and Nakuru Counties were not in any way instigated by the government. Instead, the government resorted to secure peace and provided alternative schools and homes for affected families.

One witness, Godfrey Kipchirichiri Sanga, who was working on a History of Mau Forest book project at the time when the evictions took place in August 2018, was already cross-examined.Others witnesses are set to be presented during the hearing.

The matter came before Honourable Justices of the First Instance Division: Justice Yohane Masara (Principal Judge), Justice Audace Ngiye (Deputy Principal Judge), Justice Charles Nyachae, Justice Charles Nyawello, and Richard Muhumuza.

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