Kenya: Court Declines to Allow Mau Forest Evictees Stay in the Forest

Petitioners follow proceedings in Nakuru High Court during the mention of an application seeking orders to stop their eviction by the government from the Maasai Mau Forest (file photo).
22 January 2020

The Environment and Lands court in Nakuru has dismissed an application by families evicted from Mau forest seeking to be allowed to stay in the forest.

A three judge bench sitting in Nakuru declined to grant orders sought by the families on grounds that a similar application had earlier been dealt with by a court of similar status.

The application which was filed by the families sought conservatory orders from the court to compel the government to allow them stay in the forest pending hearing and determination of a case they filed before court.

Led by Justice Sila Muyao, Mohamed Kullow and John Ongondo, the bench which was constituted by Chief Justice David Maraga to hear the Mau forest eviction cases said the court had no powers to hear an appeal of a ruling delivered by a court with similar status.

APPEAL DISMISSED

"The court cannot sit on appeal of an application which has been filed, heard and determined by a competent court. The application is thus dismissed with cost," ruled justice Munyao.

In the application, the families through lawyer Kimutai Bosek and Humphrey Manyange had protested the eviction terming it unlawful.

Mr Kimutai had argued that the more than 3000 individuals are genuine owners of land parcel in the forest and have relevant land ownership documents.

"My clients are the land owners with genuine title deeds issued by the lands office. The government needs to respect that and stop the evictions," said Mr Bosek.

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