Cabinet Secretary for Trade, Investments, and Industry Moses Kuria has called on President Ruto to hold talks with Kitui leaders on how they should start mining coal in the Mui basin in Kitui county.
Speaking during the grand opening of the DEVKI Steel Plant in Kwale, The CS said that Kenya uses 1 billion per month to import coal which is already available in large deposits in Kitui. Kuria said that he will halt the importation of coal to pave way for the local coal which will cut down the costs of importation.
“I will stop the importation of coal because we have coal deposits in Kitui which can give us billions every year. I would like to ask President Ruto to help us in engaging the local leaders and discuss the way forward so we can save on importing coal,” Moses Kuria reiterated.
He called for a discussion between Kitui Governor Julius Malombe and Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka so that they can deliberate on the plans of mining coal because the deposits can produce coal worth 6 billion per month which translates to 72 billion per year.
“Let’s sit down with Governor Malombe and also my good friend Kalonzo Musyoka who I will bring to you so that we can agree on how to work together because Kitui County gets 5 billion from the sharable revenue but coal alone can give 72 billion per year ‘jameni ata kama sio kura si tufanye mambo ambayo itatufanya tuone Mungu‘ because we will have helped our people,” Kuria pointed out.
The Mui basin coal mining project has been in limbo since 2019 after residents through Mwingi Central MP Gideon Mulyungi petitioned Parliament to halt it. The residents complained that the project would negatively impact their lives if it were permitted to proceed and they also cited that there was no adequate public participation
According to reports, as of 2019, the basin contained approximately 3.4 trillion worth of coal resources, whose discovery was hailed as a key step toward turning Kenya into an industrial powerhouse comparable to Germany and other European superpowers.