Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri has hit out at Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko over claims that he grabbed a land that was part of the Ngong Forest.
Mr Ngunjiri accused Mr Tobiko of political witch-hunt for putting his name in the list of people who illegally excised land from the forest.
Speaking in Nakuru, the lawmaker castigated the CS for declaring the title deeds held by the private home owners illegal “without following the due process”.
According to Mr Ngunjiri, the CS, being a lawyer, ought to find from the Ministry Of Land how the parcels were acquired.
He denied owning land belonging to the forest as claimed by the CS.
NOT FOREST LAND
“The one that I had was not part of the forest land since I acquired it from one which had been surrendered to the commissioner of lands by the prisons who had relinquished their interest. The commissioner of lands allowed private individuals to acquire it,” said Mr Ngunjiri.
He asked the CS to do his work and stop politicising the issue.
Mr Ngunjiri further accused Mr Tobiko of failing to advise the President accordingly on the history of land since 1932. He said the CS is misleading the Head of State.
“If he wants to correct the mistakes done in the Land ministry, let him start the auditing of the lands since 1932 and see where the problem is,” said Mr Ngunjiri.
Mr Tobiko, during an aerial tour of the Ngong Road forest last week, said the government has commenced the recovery process of the land illegally acquired from the forest in Lang’ata.
According to the CS, a huge part of the forest has been grabbed by individuals using various proxies and entities.
He asked the owners to surrender the land or face eviction as the government intends to commence the fencing off of the forest in a couple of months.
The Ministry of Environment last week released a list names of individuals and companies which illegally excised land from the forest.
Among them are high-ranking politicians, top Land ministry officials and prominent business people.
The Bahati lawmaker, former Kiambaa MP Stanley Munga Githunguri and former Konoin MP Samuel Koech were mentioned as some of the beneficiaries of the illegally acquired forest land.
Data from the Kenya Forest Service shows that out of the 7,231.6 acres proclaimed at gazettement in 1932, only 1330.39 acres of woodland are left today.
Mr Tobiko said the President has issued a directive to reclaim all areas of the forest other than those which were validly degazetted and lawfully excised for public purposes.