The Star (Nairobi)

22 December 2012

Kenya: Ruto Playing Politics With Mau Forest , Says Ntimama

HERITAGE minister William ole Ntimama has denied claims by Eldoret North MP William Ruto that he is responsible for the degradation of Mau Forest complex.

Ntimama said Ruto is now using the Mau issue as campaign tool. Speaking to the media in Narok town yesterday, Ntimama wondered why Ruto is accusing him yet he has been championing its restoration.

"Ruto is trying to use the Mau issue as a campaign tool to fight Prime Minister Raila Odinga's supremacy in the region but that will not work at all," said.

Recently during the burial of Narok women representative aspirant the late Patricia Parsitau, Ruto accused Ntimama for dishing out the forest for his own political mileage when he was the Narok County Council chairman during the Moi administration.

The URP leader said Ntimama opened up the forest for plunder in the 70s. Ruto said it is hypocritical for him to champion the removal of those living in the forest.

The Narok North MP accused Rift-Valley MPs of fighting the PM on the Mau issue after he implemented the government policy on conservation of water tower.

"It is sad that some politicians have shifted their blame on the Raila for the eviction of the Mau forest squatters yet this was arrived at parliament and the cabinet. Even Ruto (William) is castigating the premier was present," he said. The minister challenged leaders who approved the evictions of the forest evictees to take political responsibility.

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