Senate investigation into Stutchbury murder to take longer

Environmentalists hold Joannah Stutchbury pamphlets in Karura Forest in September. Stutchbury was gunned down outside her home in Kiambu last July. [Daniel Chege, Standard]

The Senate investigation into the murder of environmentalist Joannah Stutchbury will last another two weeks. This was after Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko and Kiambu Governor James Nyoro requested more time to present the information sought.

The two leaders were questioned by the National Security, Defense and Foreign Relations Committee chaired by Kisumu Senator Fred Outa, as the murder took place outside the environmentalist’s home in Kiambu County.

More than 13 conservationists, under the auspices of the Conversation of Kenya Alliance, have called on the House to investigate the murder.

“The petitioners pray that the Senate investigate the circumstances leading to the alleged murder of Joannah Stutchbury and other environmentalists and conservationists in the country,” the petition reads.

Stutchbury was passionate about the environmental conversation of, among other things, the Kiambu Forest Reserve.

“I am not able now to enter the full length of my submission because I am still waiting for the complete file. I am therefore asking for a little more time to get to the bottom of this matter as the CID continues its investigation, ”said Mr. Tobiko.

Dr Nyoro requested more time to present the information. He said he preferred to appear before the committee with satisfactory conclusions on “the startling evidence, the individuals and entities involved.”

The governor said all public property seized by greedy individuals would be returned.

Joannah Stutchbury’s solo showdown with private developers in Kiambu Forest. [Courtesy]

Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula asked the SC to make sure the forest was protected.

“You need to ensure the total closure of the seized area, fencing the forest or even deploy the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) to conserve and preserve the forest while the investigation continues,” he said.

Environmentalists want the Senate to force the Environment Ministry and KFS to revoke plots seized from Kiambu Forest Reserve.

They also want appropriate recommendations for the protection of environmentalists and environmentalists.

“We demand that the security forces act to find Joannah’s killers and bring them to justice, because only when the legal system is functioning properly will conservationists feel confident that they are doing what they are doing.” », We read in the petition.

The petitioners called on senators to review existing laws and policies to improve protection of forests and wildlife migration corridors from land grabbers.

They noted that environmental crimes were the fourth largest criminal enterprise in the world.

“Environmental crime is higher than illegal gun sales, especially the rate at which women environmentalists and environmentalists are harassed, threatened and intimidated,” the petitioners said.

Stutchbury was shot dead outside her home on July 16.

Norman D. Briggs