Kwale leaders warn CS Balala over mining licences
By Tobias Chanji and Philip Mwakio | July 7th 2015
Leaders from Kwale County have continued their onslaught on mining cabinet secretary Najib Balala accusing him of awarding exploration licenses to mining companies without consulting them.
This comes barely few weeks after Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya had accused Balala over coal exploration in an area disputed between Kwale and Taita Taveta counties that Kwale leaders say was done without their knowledge.
The Kwale leaders have now urged potential investors to recognize and consult with the county leadership before starting any exploration activities in the area, adding that any mining licenses that were allocated before consultations with the county leaders are null and void.
On Monday the Kwale leaders met a delegation of residents from Msambweni and Lunga Lunga Sub-counties who accused some local administrators for forcing them to surrender their title deeds to pave way for minerals exploration by Base Titanium.
However, Base Titanium stopped the exploration activities in the disputed area after consultation with the County government.
"Balala cannot wake up without consulting land owners and dish out licenses without recognizing the county leadership. If he gave out the licenses, then let him find for them the land to do it," said Mvurya.
The governor said local residents deserve to be consulted on issues of compensation, environmental impact and benefits of mining before projects are licensed.
"No exploration will take place in the earmarked areas in LungaLunga,Msambweni and Matuga," he added.
The exploration of mineral is earmarked to take place at some parts of Msambweni, Matuga and LungaLunga sub counties.
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