President William Ruto has issued orders for the immediate dismissal and prosecution of 23 officials from the Kenya Forest Service (KFS). This has been prompted by allegations of corruption and incompetence among the affected officials, which have contributed to the depletion of Kenya’s forest resources.
Speaking at the pass-out ceremony of KFS rangers in Gilgil, Nakuru County, President Ruto announced that those facing dismissal include both managers and rangers involved in activities detrimental to the country’s forest cover. These officials were identified following recent investigations, and the KFS Board has been directed to suspend them from their positions pending legal action.
“Twenty-three forest managers and rangers have so far been found, and from tomorrow I do not want them to be on government payroll. These are people who are saboteurs,” the President said.
He emphasised that the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) is handling the matter, and the implicated officers will be brought to court as necessary. President Ruto expressed a firm stance against individuals engaged in unlawful activities that undermine the country’s forest resources, which are vital for economic growth and job creation.
Addressing the 2,664 graduates at the ceremony, President Ruto urged them to serve with integrity. He challenged the new rangers to play a crucial role in the National Landscape and Ecosystem Restoration Programme, contributing to the government’s goal of planting 15 billion trees by 2032.
“You are expected to be drivers of our National Landscape and Ecosystem Restoration Programme and lead our organizations, communities and, especially, the youth, in making sure that our ambition to grow 15 billion trees by 2032 is actualized on time,” he further said.
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The event was attended by Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change, and Forestry, Soipan Tuya, as well as Governors Susan Kihika (Nakuru), Andrew Mwadime (Taita Taveta), and local MP Martha Wangari, among other government officials.