23 Kenya Forest Service (KFS) officers have been dismissed for abetting forest crimes.
According to Environment Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya, her ministry is accelerating forest sector reforms to stamp out illegalities that compromise protection of our critical ecosystems including encroachment, illegal logging and charcoal burning.
As investigations intensify to net more perpetrators, Kenyans are encouraged to continue reporting forest crimes through our 24-hour toll free number, 0800724570.
This is following President William Ruto’s Wednesday orders that KFS sack 23 managers and rangers accused of abetting and conniving with criminals in environmentally degrading activities.
CS Tuya told journalists in Nairobi that the forest service was cooperating with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to gather substantial evidence against the additional suspects.
“We have had a lot of cooperation from the DCI, helping with investigations and unearthing the criminal activities happening and we are here today to ensure the Chief Conservator of Forests has effected the immediate dismissal of 23 forest officers,” the minister said.
CS Tuya warned all forest service workers, including the board of directors and management, that no one will be spared.
“There will be no sacred cows,” Tuya said, “Anyone found aiding, abetting or conniving to deplete our forest resources will face the full force of the law.”
President Ruto on Wednesday expressed concern about the integrity and professionalism of KFS officers and called for a thorough clean-up to remove corrupt, incompetent, and complicit officers.
The Head of State spoke while presiding over the passing-out parade of 2,664 forest rangers at the National Youth Service barracks in Gilgil, Nakuru County.
Earlier this year, Ruto lifted a nearly six-year ban on logging, intending to stimulate employment and support sectors reliant on forest products.
The ban, imposed in 2018, was aimed at curbing illegal logging and increasing Kenya’s forest cover to 10 per cent.