What you need to know:
- Mr Tobiko said Ms Stutchbury was simply doing her work of protecting the environment.
- He told senators that his ministry has been in touch with the family of Ms Stutchbury.
Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko has promised to name within two weeks individuals who have grabbed part of the Kiambu forest, where conservationist Joannah Stutchbury was killed.
Mr Tobiko, who appeared before the Senate’s Security Committee yesterday, said he had received a report from the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) with the names of the grabbers but has asked for more documentation.
“I don’t want to peddle names at the moment, until I get all the documentation. I’m working with KFS to get the full dossier, which I will table before the committee,” Mr Tobiko said.
“I can assure this committee that the greedy individuals who grabbed land in Kiambu forest will return them.”
Mr Tobiko said Ms Stutchbury was simply doing her work of protecting the environment.
“The murder of Ms Stutchbury was nothing but brutal. My ministry is working closely with the investigative agencies to ensure that no stone is left unturned,” he said.
“What Stutchbury was doing did not warrant her murder because she was just (guarding) nature and God demands from us to protect the environment.”
He told senators that his ministry has been in touch with the family of Ms Stutchbury and was updating them on the progress of the investigations into her killing.
Kisumu Senator Fred Outa, who chaired yesterday’s session, said the matter is urgent and told the ministry to report back to them within two weeks.
“We must pursue this matter by all means because it is urgent and people are waiting for answers,” Mr Outa said.
Mr Tobiko appeared before the committee following a petition by Lucy Waruingi and Olivia Adhiambo, who wanted the Senate to investigate the circumstances of the killing.
The petitioners also want the Ministry of Environment, through the Senate, to revoke the titles of all grabbed land in the Kiambu forest.
The petitioners also want the Senate to review relevant policies and existing legislation with a view to enhancing the protection of all forest lands and wildlife migratory routes.
Ms Stutchbury, 64, was killed outside her home in Kiambu in July last year.
Chief Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor, who conducted the postmortem, said Ms Stutchbury was shot three times in the head and three times in the upper limbs.
Two bullets hit her left upper limb while one hit the right, he said, adding that she was shot in these areas while trying to defend herself.
At the time of her death, Ms Stutchbury had a pending case in the Environment and Land Court in Kiambu.
Agropack Ltd officials had filed a complaint against her and the Kenya Forest Service, saying she had obstructed their efforts to create an access road through the State-protected forest land.
She had earlier revealed that Agropack employees had threatened her several times and at one point she heard one of them say they should finish her off.