Forests, Jurisdiction, Property, Biodiversity, Protected Areas, Constitutional, Audits, Environmental Impact Assessments, Contract, Human Rights

The Petitioners have sought inter alia a declaration that they together with the Maasai community of Ngong Hills are entitled to all that piece of land known and have sought an order directing the government to immediately survey the suit land and issue title deeds to them and other bonafide Maasai residents of Ngong Hills. The Petitioners have further averred that as indigenous people, they are entitled to the protection of the Constitution and that their eviction would offend their fundamental rights and freedoms under the bill of rights.

According to the High Court, only the National Land Commission has the mandate to investigate into historical land injustices and make appropriate recommendations for redress. The court is not the appropriate organ to carry out the investigation and/or inquiry. It was premature on the part of the petitioners to come to court without either exhausting the process of obtaining a degazettment of Ngong Hills Forest as a state forest under the provisions of the Forest Act and/or having the National Land Commission exercise its mandate under the Constitution. Thus, the petitioner’s petition has no merit and the same is ordered dismissed.

(Source: Kenya Law, last accessed 14-05-2018)