It is efforts in futility to talk about Mau Forest when you are not a resident of Mau or at least come from the area. I come from the area. I schooled there and lived there throughout my life. My small piece of land is part of the larger Mau area that might face evictions as my home is about 500 metres away from the boundary that separates the forest and the settlement area.
The issue of Mau is so simple. Let no one lie to you that it is complicated. It is simple that it’s solution is simple as well. The complexity they are talking about is a hoax. (remember this as you read on. I will tell you the complexity towards the end of this post)
The Mau forest was a land divided into two. National Government forest land and Narok County land. This Narok county land was owned communally by Maasai but held in trust by Narok County or the defunct County council of Narok. Therefore it was not a NATIONAL GAZZETED FOREST but land BELONGING to the Maasai held in trust on behalf of Maasais. It was known as TRUST LAND.
Retired President Moi together with Maasai leaders decided to issue title deeds of this TRUST LAND to various Maasai leaders, paramount Chiefs and other elite leaders from the Maasai community. The trust land therefore was subdivided among individuals. These individuals were issued with legit title deeds.
Some of these individuals became greedy and extended their pieces of land into the forest that was not issued for sale by Government.
The new owners extended their pieces of land into the forest that was not initially issued for sell. They then started selling their land to Kipsigis who came in large numbers. The Kipsigis (including my dad) bought land on a willing buyer- seller basis. And they sold this land including the illegal extensions into the forest. And innocent buyers bought this land. Strangely the government as well issued title deeds for the illegal extensions.
Now, the current issue is that those who bought land in the illegal extensions are required to vacate. Which EVERYONE including the Settlers agree. But now the government wants even the people who bought land on the LEGAL part of the land to vacate. Now this is where the problems start. The legal parts were LEGITIMATELY issued for sale by the GOVERNMENT. And people INNOCENTLY bought these pieces of land. Some have lived here for over 40 years now.
It was the government that issued the land for sale and people sold their homes to acquire these new homes. If the government now wants to reverse that decision, it is only proper to COMPENSATE or RESETTLE these people. There is no other way.
In addition, the government should Immediately arrest the people who extended their pieces of land ILLEGALLY into the forest and then sold to INNOCENT KENYANS. the government should arrest all those who participated at the Narok Lands office to issue LEGIT titles to the illegal extensions.
Remember, there are legal areas issued by Moi government for sale and those who got these areas connived to extend their pieces further into the forest. But right now, evictions are happening both in the legal and illegal areas.