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Ruto fires 23 forest managers over illegal logging in 3 counties

The accused managers and rangers have been removed from the government payroll, effective October 12.

President William Ruto presides over pass-out parade of over 2000 Forest Officers in Gilgil

On October 11, President William Ruto presided over the pass-out parade of over 2000 Forest Officers in Gilgil and simultaneously announced the dismissal of 23 forest rangers and managers.

These officers were terminated due to corruption allegations and their involvement in illegal logging and charcoal burning activities across various forests in the country.

"Na nimeamrisha board ya KFS, hawa wote waliopatikana aidha wakizembea ama wakijihusisha na ufisadi ama wakichangia kuharibika kwa misitu yetu, wote waondolewe kazini," Ruto said.


He continued by emphasising that the culprits should be taken to court. President Ruto revealed that the dismissed officers held positions as both managers and rangers.

These officers were drawn from Nakuru, Kericho, and Nyandarua counties.

The Kenya Forest Service is currently undertaking a cleanup mission in Nakuru County due to instances of plantation theft in Kaptunga Forest.


Additionally, the county has reported cases of logging in indigenous forests, specifically at Baraget Forest Station, where a ranger and foresters have been implicated.

Logoman and Sururu forests are also under the KFS radar due to reports of charcoal burning, with station rangers being linked to these activities.

In Kericho County, instances of collusion between foresters and rangers have been observed in illegal logging within plantations and charcoal burning activities. Encroachment issues have also arisen at the Tendeno Forest Station, along with further reports of illegal plantation logging.

In Nyandarua County, the forester responsible for Kinangop Forest is facing repercussions for engaging in illegal farming within the forest.


Additionally, the board management at Geta Forest Station has been implicated in the illegal removal of logs.

Ruto emphasised that those accused would be removed from the government payroll starting from October 12 due to their involvement in activities that promote environmental destruction.

He concluded by expressing his government's commitment to taking necessary measures to protect the environment.

In a recent and somewhat controversial move, President William Ruto decided to lift the six-year ban on illegal logging in public and community forests in Kenya in July 2023.


This decision, on the surface, was framed as a means to boost employment opportunities. However, it raised significant concerns about the potential environmental repercussions and the sustainable future of Kenya's forests.

The ban had initially been imposed in response to rampant illegal logging and the alarming depletion of the country's vital water towers.

These issues have yet to be fully addressed. Ruto reassured that logging activities will now adhere to strict harvesting guidelines, aiming to balance economic interests with environmental conservation.

The Law Society of Kenya took a significant step by filing a court challenge against the presidential directive to lift the ban on illegal logging, asserting that there was a lack of public participation prior to the ban's removal.


In response, the legal body sought court orders to halt the implementation of the directive.

According to the orders issued by Justice Oscar Angote, the government directive on the revocation of Gazette notices related to the degazettement of forest areas and the re-introduction of the 'shamba' system is temporarily suspended.

Additionally, the state is prohibited from granting licenses or permits for tree felling during this period.

This legal action highlights the importance of public participation and the legal processes surrounding environmental decisions.


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