Mwingi Central MP Gideon Mulyungi has opposed the latest plan by Mining CS Salim Mvurya to start mining coal and other minerals in Kitui county.
The Wiper legislator warned CS Mvurya of the mass displacement that will be a result of the mining and also adverse effects on the environment. While addressing the media outside the parliament building, Mulyungi said that after the CS hosted Governor Malombe to discuss the issue of mining in Kitui, the Kitui elected leaders won’t accept the mining of coal in Kitui.
“I want to tell CS Mvurya that as you speculate about minerals because I saw you listing Kitui as one of the counties rich in mineral resources and targetted for mining, keep off coal mining in Mui basin which is Mwingi Central constituency. That is a matter that we have gone over and over, although you’re very new in the Ministry, with your predecessors,” Mulyungi remarked.
The Mwingi Central MP invited the Mining Cabinet Secretary to look at the Parliamentary report on coal mining that he (Mulyungi) presented in 2019 and motion tabled in parliament.
“He should look at the motion that was tabled in Parliament in 2019 where Parliament in its wisdom stopped coal mining in Kitui until Consensus building is done. Speculating about the mining of the coal in the Mui basin is a no-go zone and we won’t allow that to happen,” he added.
Mulyungi also revealed that he had even personally discussed the matter with President Ruto and agreed on how to proceed. The vocal legislator said that it is very clear that coal is not the way to go considering that the community might get little benefit from the mining but the environmental and health effects will bring more harm to the people.
“Coal mining is not clean energy, it is a health hazard, causes mass displacement of people, and therefore anything that displaces people from their homes, especially where they have buried their loved ones and during these difficult times, we can’t allow that to happen,” Mulyungi added.
In November 2022, Nimrod Mbai also spoke against the mining of coal in Kitui.
An estimated 400 million tons of coal deposits are believed to be in the 123,553-acre Mui Coal Basin which stretches from Mwingi Central to Kitui East. The Mui Coal Basin is divided into blocks A to D where the concession to mine coal in Blocks C and D of the Mui Coal Basin was awarded to the Fenxi Mining Industry of China in December 2013 but since then nothing has happened.
Coal mining concessions in Blocks A and B were also put on hold, even after the tender was advertised.
The new administration has hinted at commencing mining coal in Kitui county. Missed the story by Trade CS Moses Kuria? Check it out below;