CONSTITUTIONAL

Don't politicise mining land use committee, CS Mvurya tells Kwale residents

This follows concerns from mining-affected communities and rights organisations regarding the committee's legitimacy

In Summary
  • Residents and activists have raised concerns, alleging that the committee's formation lacked adherence to constitutional processes and that community representation was inadequate
  • Mvurya defended the committee's formation, asserting it was established within legal parameters

Mining CS Salim Mvurya has urged Kwale residents not to politicize the Post-Mining Land Use Committee. https://shorturl.at/M7KG6

Mining CS Salim Mvurya speaks in an interview at the Diani Reef Hotel in Kwale county on Wednesday, July 3, 2024.
CONCERNED: Mining CS Salim Mvurya speaks in an interview at the Diani Reef Hotel in Kwale county on Wednesday, July 3, 2024.
Image: SHABAN OMAR

Mining CS Salim Mvurya has urged Kwale residents not to politicise the Post-Mining Land Use Committee.

This follows criticism from mining-affected communities and rights organisations regarding the committee's legitimacy.

Residents and activists have raised concerns, alleging that the committee's formation lacked adherence to constitutional processes and community representation was inadequate.

The committee is tasked with gathering public input and overseeing the transition of land use post-mining and was established amidst preparations by Base Titanium, the largest mining company in the region, to conclude operations due to mineral depletion.

Mvurya defended the committee's formation, asserting it was established within legal parameters.

"I assure you; every legal requirement was strictly adhered to. Please refrain from politicising this matter; it is not a platform for political gain," he said.

Mvurya said the committee was gazetted as mandated by law, with transparency at every step.

The PMLU committee includes diverse stakeholders, ensuring robust representation from elected officials and community leaders.

Sufficient space and time will be allocated for all stakeholders to submit their views, through written memoranda or verbal contributions in public participation forums.

The ministry will plan for stakeholder meetings, including NGOs, experts, locals and leaders, to articulate their perspectives.

"I urge everyone to note the scheduled dates and participate actively instead of resorting to complaints," he said.

Discussions will primarily focus on land use after active mining has ceased and associated activities.

He said the PMLU Committee's role is pivotal as it navigates the complex landscape of land use transition in Kwale following years of mining activity.

The committee's mandate includes ensuring that community voices are heard and that the transition process aligns with environmental and social sustainability goals.

He encouraged all stakeholders, including the communities, to ensure transparency and inclusivity in decisions that will impact the future of Kwale's post-mining landscape.

A report will subsequently be compiled for cabinet review  before the government finalises decisions on the land's future use.

Mvurya also refuted claims of any hidden government agenda concerning the mined land.

Contrary to rumours, the CS said, the land would revert to the national government and would not be allocated to individuals or communities.

He urged residents and political leaders to familiarise themselves with the laws governing post-mining land use.

Msambweni sub-county Deputy County Commissioner Josphat Mutisyo cautioned rights groups over their influence on sentiments regarding minerals and land issues.

While acknowledging the valuable role of activists in shaping the country's democracy and development, Mutisyo emphasised the importance of disseminating accurate information to the public.

Public perception is fragile and should be handled with utmost care, he warned, while asking leaders and activists to prioritise honesty, patience, and adherence to proper procedures when addressing community concerns.

The DCC assured residents that the government would ensure transparency and inclusivity in decision-making processes.

"There is no need for tension; these processes are governed by law and our role is to ensure every legal step is taken to represent public interests and ensure locals benefit from their resources," he said.

He affirmed that stakeholders would uphold principles of equity, transparency and accountability while gathering community input on PMLU.

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