By Ben Leshau
Nominated Member of Parliament David Sankok is now blaming land officials for allegedly issuing title deeds to illegal settlers at the Maasai Mau forest.
Sankok who spoke when he visited the lands office recently alleged that the land registrar who issued title deeds for the forest land should be held accountable for the massive destruction at the water catchment land.
“Some settlers are very innocent as they were given genuine title deeds from the lands department, the people who should be blamed most are these Government officers who do not discharge their duties responsibly,” he noted.
Sankok who represents Persons Living With Disability (PLWDs) at the National Assembly said land is an emotive issue in the country causing perennial conflicts because of the land officials who allegedly issue fake title deeds or double allocate land.
“For a long time, land has been an emotive issue where brothers kill brothers because of the irresponsible land officials,” claimed Sankok demanding for a lifestyle audit of certain land officers.
He said Maasai Mau forest is a source of livelihood to millions of people and animals hence should not be politicized.
“We cannot play politics with the Mau issue, it is not about any specific individual, it is about many rivers that draw water from the forest and many countries that depend on the forest,” he said.
Sankok’s sentiments came only a day after a group of legislators led by Senate Majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen visited the area to empathize with the evictees.
The legislators alleged that a portion of those evicted were living outside the forest land, as per the cutline but wondering where Narok County Commissioner George Natembeya was getting orders from to evict the people from the forest land.
Murkomen asked those evicted to return to their homes promising to bring building materials to assist them recover after officers manning the forest flashed them out.
Among the legislators presents were Johanna Ngeno (Emurrua Dikirr MP), Joyce Korir (Bomet Women Rep), Christopher Korir (Bomet Senator), Beatrice Kones (Bomet East MP), Nelson Koech (Belgut), Liza Chelule (Nakuru women rep) and Bomet Deputy Governor Dr. Hillary Barchok.
Narok County Commissioner George Natembeya said currenty over 7,700 people have been evicted from the forest in the just ended phase one evictions and are targeting 40,000 more people in the second phase of evictions.