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Kitui wants details of Mui coal project

The KHRC Advisor on Transformational Justice, Faith Alubbe, addressing the Mui Coal Basin Blocks C and D residents at the Mathuki AIC church on Friday.Photo by Musembi Nzengu
The KHRC Advisor on Transformational Justice, Faith Alubbe, addressing the Mui Coal Basin Blocks C and D residents at the Mathuki AIC church on Friday.Photo by Musembi Nzengu

KITUI residents complain they are in the dark about the status of the coal mining project in blocks C and D in the Mui Basin.

Coal exploration is being done on four blocks: A, B, C and D.

Speaking at Mathuki AIC on Friday, the residents said the government and the investor should be open about what is going on.

The residents participated in a public forum organised by the Kenya Human Rights Commission.

“Residents are not sure of the next course of action for lack of information,” Rev Kitonga Mulatya said.

“We fear we could be ambushed with decisions on compensation and resettlement that are not agreeable to us.”

The Sh3.4 trillion mining concession was given to Fenxi Mining Group in 2012.

A Chinese consortium was also given mining rights in 2015.

A benefit sharing agreement was signed between Fenxi and the government in Mwingi town on December 23, 2013.

KHRC officer Faith Alubbe said it is unconstitutional to deny residents information.

“It is your right to get constant updates on the status of the coal project. You must negotiate acceptable compensation terms and you must be fully aware of and accept the resettlement plan,” she said.

Alubbe urged the press to fill the information void by regularly publishing information on the coal project.

“Once residents get the right information through the media, they will be in a position to make the right and informed decisions,” she said.

Alubbe said politicians and the investor are telling residents half-truths.

“That is why the media should step in and conduct research to give the residents candid information,” she said.

In 2010, an estimated 400 million tonnes of coal were confirmed in Block C.