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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Saving Mau Forest: Ogiek Community Voluntarily Accept Outside Resettlement

Yesterday, PM Raila Odinga received a large delegation of Ogiek community leaders in his office. As usual our mainstream media have given the momentous occasion little publicity. The hide-attired Ogiek delegation comprised of representatives from the Ogiek Peoples National Assembly (OPNA), Ogiek Welfare Council and the Ogiek Peoples Development Programme (OPDP) whose executive chairman Daniel Kobei doubled as their spokesman.

At the end of the meeting, the PM called a press conference attended by local and international press in which it was announced that the Ogieks were ready to move out of the controversial MAU forest on condition that the government resettles and compensates them adequately. Sadly, the NMG did not even bother to publish this story in its Nation newspaper. For those who have been following the protracted Mau saga, this announcement constitutes one of the most significant coups by any official of the government of Kenya since independence in the efforts to reclaim the forest and puts the PM in frame for international environmental honours.

The Ogieks who number about 20,000 people are not squatters but are in actual sense the only indigenous dwellers of the Mau Forest. They have since colonial times suffered eviction, persecution, harassment, intimidation, death threats and even murder from successive governments and their agents under the excuse of 'protecting the environment'. That the PM has persuaded them to peacefully leave their ancestral homeland and appreciate the importance of preserving this water catchment area is a great achievement indeed. No other government officials or Rift Valley MPs were present in this historic meeting and surprise, surprise….no tear gas canisters were unleashed on hapless Kenyans!

To put other Kenyan communities in perspective; can the proud Luo, for instance, ever accept to be evicted from the shores of Lake Victoria or perhaps are the populous Kikuyu ready to accept to be moved away from the Mount Kenya region even if it is for preserving the environment? You and I know this is an impossible dream.

Although the Mau Task Force is still working on modalities for handling the Mau crisis, it is not lost on political observers that Raila is already making inroads on the ground and is successfully working with grassroot communities in resolving the impasse. It should therefore not surprise anyone when a delegation of Kipsigis or Maasai community leaders or elders visits the PM in the near future and agree to be relocated from the Mau.

Whereas it is the right of any Kenyan community to public appointments, journalists attending the PM/Ogieks function were shocked to learn that no single individual from the Ogiek community has been nominated to parliament or appointment a minister, PS or even an MD of a public corporation, although quite a number of them are educated and qualified for public service jobs. The Ogiek never feature anywhere on the national radar apart from when they are resisting attempts to evict them from their homeland.

It will be interesting to hear what the so called Kipsigis and Maasai MPs have to say about yesterday’s meeting which was devoid of any political agenda. Meanwhile, the PM marches on……..

45 comments:

Ivy said...

And who said that ogieks are not enlightened?

REASON has prevailed....folks we need a voice that will reason with us....Chest thumping has never won anybody anything..

Anonymous said...

Good job raila.

Anonymous said...

Kenyans have got enough reasons to give kudos to the right Hon. PM. We shall surely have somewhere special in our hearts preserved for you.
May God bless you and guide you in your endeavours

Kwale said...

Phil,

Cor blimey! Why do you always want the media to give Raila publicity?

…"As usual our mainstream media have given the momentous occasion little publicity"…

For god sake, Raila is only a Prime Minister with no executive powers and you want us to know everything he is up to. Raila can be compared with a little boy holding a toy gun telling people I have the real gun. No powers!! Raila is a gun without bullets!!! When will you get that!
He aint doing anything here out of the ordinary, he is just doing what everyone with commonsense would do. Mau forest MUST be preserved if we are to escape the effects of global warming.

Anonymous said...

those guys were in the forest illegally and molasses raila personally told them not to vacate when he was campaigning for the referendum so the buffon is just making up for his sins.

who gives a crap about this molasses fellow that he gets media coverage? the last time he got media coverage abt mau issue he ended up entertaining ntimama with his war antics infron of the same nation media group.did the author of this article give kudos no NMG then?????
infact there was eerie silence here wishing it away....pack of idiots...

double talk!!!

Anonymous said...

CHRISssssssss!!!!!!! AM SUPRISED YOU HAVEN`T WRITTEN ANYTHING ON THE ONGOING TERROR MOGUL FAZUL MOHAMMED.....OR ARE YOU PART OF THE CONSPIRACY?
ENYEWE ITS NOT TIPICAL OF YOU TO KEEP QUIET ON SUCH WEIGHTY ISSUES HAPPENING DOWN SOUTH IN MALINDI....

Anonymous said...

Phil,

Always a pleasure to read your posts. You are a source of amusement, not annoyance! I see rao is giving al gore a run for his money on the climate thing. About publicity, I thought the "Standard" is printed at pentagon house. How could they not give the story front page coverage?

b-carotene said...

Molasses has done nothing here. Neither has reason prevailed. Whose reason?
This is just simply the Ogiek acting on their own self-interest (as every screaming fool has been) by seeing a golden opportunity that hopefully, they'll milk DRY. Let's hope the spoils are worth it over the longer term and indeed well distributed amongst them.

Vikii said...

5.11, you cannot pupport to be speaking on behalf of all Kenyans. I am a Kenyan and I hate to be romped in your blanket support for your "Right Hon. PM". He does not have a special place in my heart, he's never had one and he never will.

About Mau Forest and the Ogieks, I am glad they agreed to move out. Thank God we do not have unscrupulous politicians playing politics with the evictions. They have always done so but the good thing is that we all get to a point where you cannot keep fighting civilization. Someone somewhere has seen the light. But then again, who said the Ogieks are moving out? The Mau Forest setllements are an issue that is going to be with us for a long time, probably decades. The Pentagon Times may want us to believe the evictions are starting tomorrow, but dont we all have a right to delusion? Just asking, u know!

Anonymous said...

Phil

Raila should extend Ogiek goodwill by immediately giving one of their own the vacancy in Kenya Ports Authority. Why did he not nominate an Ogiek in the August house and he had the power and opportunity? Why did he not appoint one of them as a PS? Phil - this thing comes to haunt the man. He has no one to blame other than himself.

But am excited by the way he is taking on Mau issue. Kudo Rao.

Mzee wa Kijiji

Proud Kikuyu Woman said...

It’s an issue of looking out for the good of all, not some.
I understand your need to attribute all things good to Raila, but your memory is coming off as very selective. For one, this part is not accurate: “To put other Kenyan communities in perspective; can the proud Luo, for instance, ever accept to be evicted from the shores of Lake Victoria or perhaps are the populous Kikuyu ready to accept to be moved away from the Mount Kenya region even if it is for preserving the environment? You and I know this is an impossible dream”.
Due to a treaty signed between the colonial government in Kenya and Egypt in the 1920s, communities along the Nile are not supposed to use water from the Nile River, whose source is the Lake Victoria, as important to the Luo community as the Mt Kenya is to the Kikuyu . I’m not sure that Luos are not interested in using the Nile river water, but so far they and the other peoples living along the Nile across 10 African countries have ensured that Egypt has its unfair share of the Nile waters.
In the 80s and 90s, a lot of Kikuyus whose only home had been the Mount Kenya forest were forcefully evicted for the good of the country. That’s how we ended up with a lot of people living in settlements at the edges of the forest. That’s how come we have the shamba system where people are allowed to farm but not live in the forest while they take care of plantation trees until they can’t farm anymore. Check your facts or risk losing your credibility entirely.

Anonymous said...

Trust the haters to come out breathing fire and brimstone.Why not chill and tell us what the 'PNU WING' is upto. Let me guess.... nothing other than the succession debate.

One of you said that 'we just don't like him'. Please folks, swallow your pride and admit to yourself-not necessarily publicly that RAO is bringing in a new way and exciting way of doing things. You may hate the man with a passion, but boy, you got to love the way he operates.

Kazi imeanza, meanwhile duckie is asleep and watching from the SH fence. What a waste of a human being - haters you must regret wasting your vote?

Wiper is equally mesmerized with all the security and big title minus clout,waiting to be toshwad.

Let them watch, they may learn one or two things from Agwambo - 'owagakinyi'

Okay haters, now eat me.

kenyaone said...

I think RAO has made good progress. He may be a 'lame duck' PM but he sure knows how to identify and deal with issues. lets face facts. The issue of the Mau has been burning for many years but he has finally taken the bull by the horns. My worry is that GOK as it has done before will make promises that it either cannot or had no intention of keeping. Like the compensation for the IDP's then the double speak that followed. If RAO continues approaching and dealing with things as hes doing it is just a matter of time before he aquires the power that a prime minister should have because power comes with recognition.

Taabu said...

@Anon 6.42,
Why are you DRAGGING the good name of Dr. Steve in mud? You falsely accuse cleam man of god as mesmerized by security. Did you know that Bro Steve is only second to Kibaki interms of OLDEST in bunge? And to cap it all has been a minister (foreign/edu) and even deputy speaker. Already he as the whole prison dept wrapped under his command so please spare Kalonzo some heat.

@PKW said,
.......In the 80s and 90s, a lot of Kikuyus whose only home had been the Mount Kenya forest were forcefully evicted for the good of the country.......

You are damn right but so do Phil. The difference is you chose to upgrade an analogy to main script. At least Phil we happy secure in the knowledge that hitheto he had some credibility. PKW I repeat you are rightbut please enjoy the beauty of the forest and avoid detraction from individual trees, will you? Sio kwa ubaya lakini.

Anonymous said...

Just what has the "dury-erected" done since being illegally sworn in on that fateful Dec night?

Anonymous said...

Taabu,

'Dr' Steve needs to be put where he belongs. I will continue whacking his sorry bottom for rocking the ODM boat.

Has the big title he negotiated for himself added any color/clout to the idiot's profile? NOOO!

Does the prospect of bagging the Gema votes in the next elections make him the most sought after politician? NOOO!

Let him consolidate the kamba votes and deal with discontent in ODM-K before he dreams of joining the big boys. (actually there's only one big boy)

Meanwhile the 'ODM WING' under the very able leadership of Agwambo owagakinyi, is busy serving the country.

KAZI IMEANZA!

Ivy said...

Taabu

Now i can see that you need more feathers on top of your head, even if it is a honorarium one so that you can play in the same La liga as Dr. Steve.

Surely i couldn't have put it better Anon 6:42 i am still trying to consolidate my vocabs and trust me i am working hard including the slangs i am soon copy pasting Taabu's and his ilk. Or maybe i just consolidate the thesaurus and opinions from ever fora coz i need to come with some hard facts.
Enyewe folks adios usiku mwema

Anonymous said...

Taabu,

I'm not yet through with Mr Clean. He may be a heart beat away from the presidency, but does he have the clout? does he command respect and admiration for doing good? okay tell me one thing he can be credited for, for all the 20 something years in bunge.

Predictably, Raila with his 'non executive' powers has overshadowed and reduced all these colorless, clueless idiots to village elders.

NA BADO!

Taabu said...

Ivy,
Miracle is when an unpredictable comes tom pass. Si Stevo alisema atapita katikati and that is exactly where he is between Emilio and RAO. Son of Mwingi is busy preaching the much needed peace. Please join the man of god in saving Kenya, won't you?

Anonymous said...

anon5:25 AM

Kwale
the Vimpire has shown it's fangs:)

Get it right this time

ODM 50% PNU 50%

that is ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW-

AS FOR KIBAKI HE IS A FROG WITHOUT TEETH HEADING PNU- it is no wonder all the parties under PNU umbrella have decided to jump ship and move on
keep watching this space- kibaki will soon be heading himself and rucy...

Anonymous said...

anon6:15 AM
start with

1. ANGLO LEASING
2. Charter house
3. Transcentury
4. GRAND REGENCY
5. NATIONAL BACK OF KENYA (KIKUYU FREE LOANS IN BILLIONS OF SHILLINGS

ADD


KENYATTA STOLEN LAND FROM MAU MAU VETERANS (IDP's are still homeless suffering in this cold weather while UHURu shows his fat face on hardtalk)

PLUS:

The thieving, thug and murderer of innocent kenyans using the police to shoot and kill them and the army in Mt. elgoon to torture and Kill innocent kenyans called:

EMILIO MWAI KIBAKI has a disease

say what??

yes

Alzheimer!!
Alzheimer!!
Alzheimer!!
Alzheimer!!
Alzheimer!!
Alzheimer!!

and now it has affected his brains- kenyans watch out this guy kills with pleasure,,,,,

Anonymous said...

6:19 AM

vikii

I guess this might be better for you to support- so keep kibaki thief and goon close to your heart- he might just help you by sending the mungiki to behead your stupid head......

1. ANGLO LEASING
2. Charter house
3. Transcentury
4. GRAND REGENCY
5. NATIONAL BACK OF KENYA (KIKUYU FREE LOANS IN BILLIONS OF SHILLINGS

ADD


KENYATTA STOLEN LAND FROM MAU MAU VETERANS (IDP's are still homeless suffering in this cold weather while UHURu shows his fat face on hardtalk)

PLUS:

The thieving, thug and murderer of innocent kenyans using the police to shoot and kill them and the army in Mt. elgoon to torture and Kill innocent kenyans called:

EMILIO MWAI KIBAKI has a disease

say what??

yes

Alzheimer!!
Alzheimer!!
Alzheimer!!
Alzheimer!!
Alzheimer!!
Alzheimer!!

and now it has affected his brains- kenyans watch out this guy kills with pleasure,,,,,

Anonymous said...

Guys here is an oportunity to write to our MPs in the bunge blog, just visit www.bunge.co.ke

UrXlnc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
UrXlnc said...

as i listened to
this UNEP podcast
i am impressed at this initiative to save Mau forest. i agree drastic measures need be taken but at the core of the process there must be increased community education and participation in the preservation of our few remaining forest resources but new afforestation initiatives need to be carried out as well. kudos to PM Raila

note also the ogiek are pobably not really the epicenter of the current standoff but this article in the standard points out where some of the controversy lies

i.e some 3000 (il)legal settlers with(out) title deeds or some of them prefer going by their tribal tags

==

on the other hand, just looking at recent history, politicians are playing musical chairs with the communities resident in and around these forests

check these articles out,


here in 2007 the govt/uhuru resettles evictees


and here in 2008 the govt evicts them

if we go back 2005 am sure we'll find other contradictory actions, and the thing is most of these people are still in government/parliament

we need consistency and community education, not politics and roadside decrees. let the PMs office document a 10-20 year strategic plan based on the current exercise so that politicians do not play with the lives of kenyans


this link shows mau forest destruction in pictorial format (kindly respect the photographers rights)

Anonymous said...

"proud" Luo??

Anonymous said...

Are there any gay clubs in Nairobi?

Iam a gay woman (lesbian) looking to come out of my closet. Does anyone know where I can meet other lesbians in Kenya?

xxlove

Vikii said...

You can meet them at Kumekucha Club.

Anonymous said...

That's the advice from one gay person to another.

Can you two discuss your gay escapades in your dingy hideouts.

Anonymous said...

What may not be astute for Raila is to be fooled by a faction that purports to be the Ogiek community. As have been announced through the radio the Ogiek group have been discredited as a self seeking and selfish group that in no way is representative of the Mau issue. Infact the Ogiek do not live on the Mau south where the eviction is to take place. Rao is being taken for a ride by a non representative Mau group. Though I fully support him he should not just entertain any group of people who may water down issue of eviction unnecessarily. Paul.

UrXlnc said...

paul 1:23

i agree with you,

there are a lot of mischievous characters and groups going to emerge purporting to be representative of communities (to be) affected. but sooner or later they can/will be flushed out.

the ogiek have their own perspective on the issues on hand

http://www.ogiek.org/

if you can get past that opening picture, the perspective on the forest is interesting

http://www.ogiek.org/news/news-post-05-04-2.htm

http://www.ogiek.org/forest-ticker.htm

Anonymous said...

Just listen to this youtube video and you will know why we don't like Raila;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CAf-v-SbJo&NR=1


Mama Njeri

Anonymous said...

In between snoozing at SH, this is how the duly elected earns his fat pay. I wonder when he will start paying attention to national issues.

....President Kibaki came out of his political closet and positioned himself to manage his own succession.
Kibaki took the chairmanship of PNU....

b-carotene said...

Each year, I sit down and write a set of objectives and program of activities for my work. I do a mini-evaluation at mid year and a major one end year.

For all those who keep harping on how hard Molasses Raila is working, might any of you have his this years' objectives and work program/plan? Was the Mau issue in his planning or was that, as is normal in Kenya, an ad hoc agenda sprang on him by UNEP, which he accepted because it would score him points with his constituents and with an Int'l organization that might even nominate him for an environmental award? Or because it will help kill time, diverting attention from other more important tasks like the constitutional review? Or all of the above, a super win-win situation?
I'm just asking, no ill intentions.

Now, if Molasses Raila, by some twist of good fortune manages to resolve the Mau problem, which is unlikely, what would be the implication of that for other forest areas. The proud Kikuyu woman mentioned that people had been similarly evicted from Mt. Kenya, and so on. What would the compensation and resettlement of Mau folk mean for the Mt. Kenya folk?

Again, just asking.

As for UNEP, its one of the sleepiest, underperforming UN agencies and the UN is generally not known for performing. It has been in Kenya for a while now (since 1972?), and just look at the state of the environment in Nairobi. I'm really sceptical about them, seeing that they did virtually nothing except enjoy duty free facilities for the close to 40 years they've been in Nairobi and writing all those lofty treaties and things, which no one pays attention to.

Having said all that, I like the UN, at least better than the World Bank.

Anonymous said...

Mama njeri,

Your obsession and hatred for Raila is well documented and we have heard enough of 'we do not just like him'.....oh kihii....oh unelectable...oh likeability (new word from mama njeri)...blah, blah.
Now, here is some free advice :
Why not focus on something you consider positive - like the good work kalonzo or kibaki is doing for the good of our country.
I don't like duckie, so in between whacking his behind, I try to highlight the good work Raila is doing, like saving mau forest, streamlining KPA and RVR etc.
Keeps me going.

Anonymous said...

b- carrot,

Did I hear you almost choke on 'the green eyed monster?'

I don't think the prime minister needs to send you his work plan or plan of action for approval.

A politician is 'evaluated' at the end of his term. If he does not perform we send him packing.

BTW, do you have kibaki's action plan? could you please share it.

Anonymous said...

THE RVR SAGA - WORSE THAN GOLDENBERG

....Charles Kilonzo (Yatta, ODM-K) stirred tempers when he said the 29 members sitting in the concessionaire’s board were from one community. (I WONDER WHICH ONE)

"It pains to see what has happened to KR. RVR has been given to one community. When is the Government going to repossess the railway?" he asked.

b-carotene said...

@2:23

I thought the constitution was one of ODMs priorities to get rid of the imperial presidency and to devolve powers. What happened? The silence is deafening.

After murdering its way into power under the banner of CHANGE--one would have at least expected to see steps towards some fundamental change (read constitution), not jumping here and there dressing windows.

Pia ni swali tu.

Anonymous said...

b-carotene,

50-50 means that very little will move if the other side is not playing ball. Why did PNU insist on the justice ministry?

UrXlnc said...

hehehe

"dressing windows"

definitely funnier than

"beating Bush about"

Anonymous said...

UrXlnc, I'm tickled.

b-carotene, you probably missed the 'dressing windows' statement.

BTW, I thought beta carotene improves eye sight.

heheheheee.

Anonymous said...

I'm not even a Raila supporter at all but i support the protection of Mau Forest. I support the compensation of Okiek community and I also support the compensation is Displaced kikuyus.

Lets put politics aside and protect our forest.

Ajwang' said...

Constitutional review bills are in paliarment at this moment. And Martha has finally seen the light. When the real debate starts..Dr Steve will conveniently visit the loos and Jomo Jnr will be too sloshed to say a word. This time Majimbo is being entrenched. Kazi imeanza.

b-carotene said...

ajwang.
Ok. I hear you.
Outline the meaning of majimbo.
I am for devolution, and indeed for subsidiarity. Majimbo? We need some clarity on that.

mwathi said...

It is sad that you seem to see this as some kind of victory for Raila, and for all. In fact, I see it as a catastrophe that the Ogiek are leaving Mau Forest.
The Ogiek and similar hunter groups are the last remnants of Kenya's true indigenous culture. In fact, many of us who now call ourselves Kikuyus or Luos or Kalenjins are in fact the descendants of Ndorobo hunter groups. This is how we lived for tens of thousands of years, before the Bantu farmers, before the Nilotic pastoralists, before the Cushitic pastoralists moved in from foreign lands.
Though he might not realise it, Raila himself is a descendant of these hunters.
Now they are being told they should give up their homeland for the sake of groups which came later and now think they are the only true Kenyans.
It is very sad indeed.

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