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Nyatike MP Omondi Anyanga urges President Uhuru Kenyatta to sign mining Bill to raise sector's viability

BUSINESS
By Standard Reporter | Nov 8th 2014 | 2 min read
By Standard Reporter | November 8th 2014
BUSINESS

Nyatike MP Omondi Anyanga is urging President Uhuru Kenyatta to move with speed and sign the Mining Bill 2014 into law, saying tighter regulation of the sector will end exploitation by foreign agents and middlemen.

He said some foreigners were taking advantage of current lax laws to benefit from local mineral resources at the expense of local communities.

He says the Bill passed last week, once signed into law, will provide a tough regulatory framework, which will maximize benefits from the sector.

"Some foreigners are partnering with politically-correct people to illegally undertake prospecting and mining. This is why we need water-tight regulation," Anyanga said in Nairobi yesterday.

The MP, whose constituency is home to the Macalder mines, also urged Mining Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala to weed out brokers who had infiltrated mining, saying failure to do so would predispose the lucrative sector to dangerous practices.

"Some of them are playing with the psychology of Kenyans. They hide behind local companies and engage in illegal activities thinking they are immune to prosecution," Anyanga told The Standard in Nairobi yesterday.

Since the discovery of rich minerals in the north of Kenya and along the country's coastal strip, there has been renewed interest in the country from both local and foreign investors.
The Mining Bill 2014, already sent to Uhuru for assent, was tabled for the final reading before Parliament on October 28. It was was first tabled before in April but was rejected and forwarded to the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources for further review.
The Bill proposes the establishment of a National Mining Corporation Boar, which will be the investment arm of the national government in the sector. The Bill provides that the National Government has pre-emption rights over any minerals before they are sold. It also proposes the establishment of the Mineral Commodity Exchange a mining tribunal.
Anyanga also defended Parliament against claims by some senators that it sent the Bill to Uhuru without presenting it before the Senate, saying the National Assembly only executed its constitutional mandate. He said mining is a national issue.

"Mining is a nation matter and should not be viewed as a county affair at all," the MP said, adding the Bill was water-tight. He said the mining sector, if well harnessed, has the potential of expanding the Kenyan economy by a double-digit.

"Balala has the will to reform this sector. What Uhuru needs to do is to sign the Bill into law to give the Cabinet Secretary and his team a supportive legislative environment to make the very best from the sector," he said.

Balala has praised Parliament for the passage of the Bill, saying its provisions will help transform operations in the sector.

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