Retired President Daniel arap Moi's Nyayo Tea Zone will be cleared in the ongoing second phase of restoring the Mau Forest Complex, according to Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya as reported by the Daily Nation on Thursday, September 12.
The report comes a day after Environment CS Keriako Tobiko forwarded a list of individuals who had encroached on Mau to the Director of Public Prosecutions for arrest.
The CS had ordered the Nyayo Tea Zones Development Corporation to halt activities in the 25km buffer zone separating the Maasai Mau and the Olpusimoru forests in August 2018.
Speaking in Nakuru, Natembeya stated that the tea estate was among the estates that were in Mau illegally.
“There is this issue of the Nyayo Tea Zone, with people talking about the cutline and boundaries. Now the position is that [zone] was planted when there was a lot of encroachment on Olpusimoru forest, a national government forest," Natembeya stated adding that the tea was planted to show the boundary and not for the purpose of availing settlements.
He further insisted that they were out to correct the mistakes of past regimes as a tea farm could not be sandwiched between government forests.
"When you put a Nyayo Tea Zone between two forests, who is it supposed to serve. These are some of the things that happened in the past to prove that some of the people holding senior government positions can do some things using their positions that end up embarrassing the government they serve," Natembeya stated.
A publication by The Standard on January 4, 2010, reported that Moi had clarified that he did not use his position as Head of State to allocate himself land in the Mau Complex.
"The land under which the much-talked-about Kiptagich Tea Estate is located was part of the trust land under Narok County Council and I was allocated by the Maasai community to plant tea to stop people from encroaching the forest," Moi had disclosed.
Former Kakamega Senator, Boni Khalwale, on Friday, August 30 had urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to flush Mzee Moi, former minister Simeon Nyachae and former Kuresoi MP Zakayo Cheruiyot out of the Mau forest before evicting squatters from the water catchment area.
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