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BY CORRESPONDENT,NAROK,6TH AUG 2018-Two parties in the case before Narok court concerning ongoing evictions in Mau forests have been given to days to file responses. The Environment and Lands Court sitting in Narok on Monday gave the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and the National Land Commission (NLC)two days to file their responses in two petitions seeking to stop evictions exercise.
Justice Mohammed Kullow, while citing substantive justice and the general importance of the matter, granted the respondents time to file their responses by end of Wednesday ahead of hearing of the matter on August 10.
The court, has once more declined to issue temporary orders stopping evictions from the forest.
Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony had filed a petition seeking to stop the eviction of more than 40,000 settlers.
separately 19 Mau Forest settlers are also seeking orders to stop the evictions.
On Monday, Justice Kullow allowed a non-governmental organisation – Friends of Mau Forest – and a Narok activist Elijah Sikona to be enjoined in the petition filed by the 19 Mau Forest settlers.
So far the government has secured about 12,000 hectares of the forest, ejected 7,082 people and demolished over 1,700 temporary structures in the 46,000-hectare forest.
Narok County Commissioner George Natembeya said phase two of the evictions was set to begin.
The areas affected by evictions are Kosia, Nkoben, Arorwet, Kipchoge and Total areas.
Governor Chepkwony, in his petition, argues that the national government, without any right or legal authority and in utter disrespect of property rights and human dignity, is forcibly evicting more than 40,000 people from Reiyo, Enakishomi, Sisiyan, Enoosokon and Nkaroni group ranches.
Those sued in the case include the Cabinet secretaries for Interior and Land ministries, Narok County Commissioner George Natembeya and NLC.
Mr Johnson Kimutai Cheruiyot on the other hand and 19 others claim that the respondents are in contempt of court orders issued four years ago.
The parties have been ordered back in court on 10th of August.