Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko has ruled out compensation of Mau Forest Complex evictees.
Over 10,000 families have been flushed out of the forest and others left voluntarily after the two-month ultimatum the government had issued to settlers elapsed on Thursday.
Speaking when he launched a tree planting exercise on Friday, the CS said those who had settled illegally in the forest were criminals and will not be compensated.
"The buyers and sellers of forests are criminals and asking for compensation is bizarre instead the government need to be paid for the destruction done to this forests," he said.
The CS said the eviction exercise was a 'painful' decision but noted the State had to eject the squatters from the forest since it is government land.
"The only reason why we made this painful decision is because this water tower is gazetted and everyone knows this," he said.
His remarks came barely hours after a section of Rift Valley leaders appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to stop the evictions which they termed as a humanitarian crisis.
They claimed the Head of State had promised them that no one will be evicted in an inhumane manner and without compensation.
“The President promised us in the past that a consultative process will be facilitated to provide a resolution in the interest of genuine, legitimate land owners,” said the leaders in a statement read on their behalf by Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony.
“The events of the past two months are baffling as government officials order evictions and make statements of no compensation,” he added.