A cautious deputy president William Ruto on Tuesday opposed ongoing evictions from Mau forest in Narok South albeit indirectly.
Emurua Dikir MP Johanna Ng’eno and two MCAs were arrested by authorities while protesting the evictions, a move that has sparked heated debate.
Over 60,000 families will be rendered homeless as the government intensifies campaigns to conserve Kenya’s largest water catchment.
But Dr Ruto, whose silence has been unprecedented, on Tuesday at Kibra, insisted that even Mau forest children have a right to education, an indication that he’s opposed to evictions.
“Every child is entitled to be in school na sio tafadhali. Hiyo ni jukumu ya serikali (It is the government’s mandate to ensure all children access education). Even those in Mau will not be left behind,” Ruto said at Moi Girls High School in Kibra.
“Education is the single greatest empowerment that society can give to children. It is against the law for school-going children not to be in school.”
The government on Tuesday announced that 15 schools in the Mau forest that had been closed down, will be reopened to all students sit for exams.
And those living in the region will have another 60 days to reorganize themselves before the evictions. Rift Valley leaders have openly opposed the evictions.
“We have resolved to open all the 15 schools so as not to be seen like the government does not care. Children will continue attending classes in those schools as the eviction goes on, since eviction will take 60 days,” Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya said.