MPs from Kakamega want residents paid by mineral mining firms

Aggrey Mulayi, a gold miner enters a shaft in Rosterman, Kakamega County. [Mumo Munuve, Standard]

Members of Parliament from Kakamega County have petitioned the government to ensure locals are compensated before gold exploration companies are allowed to operate in the area.

MPs Bernard Shinali (Ikolomani), Ayub Savula (Lugari) and Emmanuel Wangwe (Navakholo) said families living along the Liranda Corridor that stretches from Shinyalu to Ikolomani sub-counties and part of Vihiga County ought to be compensated because gold mining companies have been exploring the mineral on their ancestral land.

Over 50,000 people are living along the corridor, according to the national government statistics.

Savula said gold-mining activities must be regulated to bar some gold exploration firms from engaging in illegal mining activities at the expense of the locals.

“The government must protect the interests of our people whose farms have rich minerals deposits.

"Gold exploration firms must compensate the people before they are allowed to carry on with their activities,” Savula said.

Shinali said he has already taken a motion to Parliament seeking to have locals compensated.

“Elsewhere, residents of places where mineral deposits are discovered are compensated before explorations works begin.

"That is what we are pushing for as leaders from this county. We shall not allow firms to exploit our people,” said Shinali.

The trio promised to mobilise other lawmakers to back the motion tabled by Shinali.

They were speaking during a fundraiser in aid of Lirhembe Friends Church in Ikolomani on Sunday.

Wangwe, who is the National Assembly Chief Whip, urged the residents not to be swayed to back Deputy President William Ruto’s presidential quest.

He said Ruto cannot be trusted, given his record as a leader.

“As a region, we must be careful not to be deceived by mere rhetoric and empty promises,” said Wangwe, a former ally of the DP.

Both Shinali and Wangwe were elected on Jubilee ticket but ditched it when the party split into Tangatanga and Kieleweke factions.

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