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Leaders warn Mining Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala over mining licences

COUNTIES
By Tobias Chanji and Philip Mwakio | Jul 8th 2015 | 2 min read

Leaders have continued their onslaught on Mining Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala accusing him of awarding exploration licences to mining companies without consulting them.

This comes barely few weeks after Governor Salim Mvurya accused Mr Balala of conducting coal exploration in an area disputed between Kwale and Taita Taveta counties that Kwale leaders say was done without their knowledge.

The leaders have now urged potential investors to recognise and consult with the county leadership before starting any exploration activities in the area saying any mining licences allocated before consultations with the county leaders are null and void.

On Monday, the leaders met a delegation of residents from Msambweni and Lunga Lunga sub-counties who accused local administrators of forcing them to surrender their title deeds to pave way for minerals exploration by Base Titanium.

Base Titanium, however, stopped these exploration activities in the disputed area following consultation with the county government.

In the latest standoff leaders, led by Governor Mvurya, Senator Boy Juma Boy and MP Khatib Mwashetani said they will not allow any exploration to take place in the area.

"Balala cannot wake up and without consulting land owners, begin dishing out licenses without also recognising the county leadership. If he gave out the licencles, then let him also find land for them to do their prospecting," Mvurya said.

NO EXPLORATION

The governor said locals 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 Lunga Lunga, Msambweni and Matuga," he insisted.

Revelation of this intended exploration was made by retired Mivumoni location chief Patrick Muli who presented a gazette notice dated April 10, 2015 which approved Supreme Resources Mining company to go-ahead with the exploration.

Senator Juma Boy warned that residents will not be taken for a ride by Government leaders who "are against devolution" adding that Balala has no right give mining licences because the land belongs to "us".

It was not possible to get a comment from the CS as his phone was disconnected.

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