Environment Cabinet Secretary (CS) Keriako Tobiko has come out denying the allegations that he owns hectares of land in Mau Forest.
The CS who has been under attack from leaders in the region, led by Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, has been accused of pursuing political agendas through the looming second Mau Forest evictions.
Speaking during JKL Live Show on Wednesday, Cherangany MP Joshua Kutuny and Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot produced documents during the show claiming that the CS owns land in the controversial Mau Forest.
Tobiko was listed in the Report of the Task Force on Mau Forest Complex as one of the beneficiaries of land.
The two further alleged that Tobiko intends to promote a personal agenda through the evictions.
Through documents seen by Kahawa Tungu, Tobiko denied the claims that he owns any parcels of land in Mau Forest.
In a letter addressed to the Mau Forest Interim Coordination Secretariat, Tobiko noted that the inclusion of his name in the report was “malicious and intended to serve an ulterior purpose.”
CS Tobiko drafted the letter in 2009 after the tabling of the report by the task force. He asked the task force to verify their records and remove his name from the list of names of those owning land in Mau.
He stated: “It is indeed a pity that such a noble and worthy exercise as the Task Force was to undertake has been blemished and tainted by surreptitious and invidious acts of few members.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Murkomen called out the CS during a presser, noting that Kerioka has ordered the evictions without the approval of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
According to Murkomen, Tobiko is insubordinating the president for carrying out a process that he has not ordered.
“CS Tobiko who is conflicted has no moral authority to evict people against the law. We have asked Kenyans to stay put and our children to go to school like children of all other Kenyans!” Murkomen stated.
However, while addressing the press on Thursday, Government Spokesperson Cyrus Oguna insisted that the government had no ill motive in the exercise which has elicited mixed reactions from political leaders.
“The process of saving Mau has to go on and that is the position of the government. It will go on in a humane way and taking into consideration that there must be dignity in doing the eviction or relocation. It is legal and it will continue. That is government position,” Oguna affirmed.
He pointed out that evictions have been carried out before in the Aberdares and Mt Kenya regions.
“It is not the first time this process is happening, it has happened several times and in other areas like in Mt Kenya, so I do not understand what is special about Mau,” he exclaimed.
Earlier on Thursday, Senate Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) Chairperson Samson Cherargei summoned Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko to appear before Senate to shed light on the controversial Mau evictions.
Cherargei also summoned the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) to explain the measures put in place to ensure the law was followed during the exercise.