22 July 2018

Kenya: Tuju - Mau Evictions Will Go On Despite Protests

Photo: George Sayagie/Daily Nation
Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen addresses Mau forest settlers at Kitoben on July 19, 2018.

President Uhuru Kenyatta's Jubilee Party has thrown Senate majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen under the bus, terming as personal, his comments opposing eviction of illegal settlers from the Mau Forest in Narok.

Party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju termed as "not useful to the party" angry comments Mr Murkomen made when he visited the settlers twice in 72 hours, protesting what he said were inhumane treatment of the settlers.

Mr Murkomen had continually argued that some junior government officials were going against President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto by evicting people from Mau Forest. Mr Tuju said the boundary had been set by a multi-agency team, and must be respected by all.

MAU EVICTIONS

"On the Mau Forest, a government must do what it has to do," Mr Tuju told journalists at Jubilee House in Nairobi on Sunday.

"Our script as the government is the same. So if a member of the Legislature, even if it is the Leader of Majority in the Senate comes with a different position, definitely the position of the Executive prevails. And we are very clear on this."

Asked whether the party will seek to reprimand Mr Murkomen given its finding that he had gone against the party position, Mr Tuju said the disciplinary committee will work on its own motion, "and has its own ways of handling these issues."

DISRESPECTING PRESIDENT

Just a day after he was accused of disrespecting President Kenyatta by suggesting that his March 9 handshake with Opposition leader Raila Odinga was to blame for the evictions, Mr Murkomen was on Saturday unapologetic.

"If by standing with the poor, the weak and the young children who are suffering in Mau, I am being disrespectful, then I am guilty as charged," said Mr Murkomen at Kitoben in Narok South. Ends

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