Sir, we humbly write
to your Commission with a view of being invited to testify on the
Ogiek land question.
We, in the welfare an
umbrella organisation committed to representation, protection of
and advocacy for the Ogiek rights and interests whenever they are
and may exist would like to make the following submissions on the
plight of the Ogiek as far as their land dispute is concerned.
the traditional African/Kenyan societies cum-tribes did recognise
the Ogiek existence and their land rights and this is supported
by their rights, legends and histories where they acknowledge the
Ogiek having given them land and their hospitality
colonial government also recognised (sic) this right and that is
why the Ogiek were invited to testify on their land question during
the Horis Carter Commission of 1932 (17 October 1932, Molo) and
also the dog slaughtering agreement of 23 September 1932.
various schemes which were being tried to be initiated by the colonial
administration, were also part of the recognition of their rights…only
the implementation part which failed as it was not agreed upon due
to vested interests, hence political interference which bred mistrust
Independence Kenya government also recognises this rights (of our
existence as a community) and that is why they tried to solve our
land problems through schemes formula such as
Lord Almighty in his Infinite perceived the need of creating the Ogiek
as a tribe, gave them land to call their home and gave them knowledge
to protect themselves from assimilation and any other man made calamities
resulting to either external or internal factors that might lead them
to the decaying of their culture, language as well as identity and
thus sealing their fate to extinction.
(i) Lake Nakuru Settlement
Settlement Scheme 1988
Settlement Scheme 1993
(iv) Mauche Settlement
In all these schemes,
both by the Colonial and independent government, there has been
poor implementation plus some vested interests by the concerned
authorities. It is this vested interest that finally causes poor
implementation or no implementation at all.
So in all these we can't
say that the Government has totally neglected us, no, we blame the
whole mess to those who are charged with the implementation of the
These implementers are
mostly the middlemen between the Ogiek and the government. They
are the very same people who bargain justice to their benefit and
that of their friends.
They are the people who
decide what share the Ogiek should get and how to achieve this target.
Our experience has shown that a vulnerable community like ours cannot
achieve its dreams under their land.
Our history, has shown
that we are environmentally friendly. Our land tenure system is
also environmentally friendly. Our history is summarised in our
memorandum of July 15, 1996, which we presented to members of parliament
asking to help us live in our ancestral land and retain both our
human and cultural identities as Kenyans of Ogiek origin.
We the Ogiek likes living
in isolation where flora and fauna provides with psychological comfort.
Any invasion to this private live is thus threatening the Ogiek
existence and survival and to protect this interest, the Ogiek have
tried all they can to protect this interest which is a right. They
have done it in various ways such as
protest notes and letters to the concerned authorities
public meetings (baraza)
to Parliament, various commissions and concerned authorities
and avenues for Justice in the Courts of Law where the following
East HCCA No 635/97 Challenging the Mauche scheme
and seeking nullification
West Mau HCCA No 238/99 Challenging eviction (descriptive)
Case (Narok) Challenging the grabbing of their ancestral
land by a senior government official, i.e. Mr Isaiah Cheluget
There are other issues
are on the following:
- Nandi Ogiek
they have no case in court. A scheme, which was also initiated
by the government, was also hijacked and later became stalled.
At present they are living in isolation in the forest with very
little or no interaction to the outside world.