Residents of Mwingi Central have reiterated that they will not allow coal to be mined from where they currently live. This they said last week while meeting the Energy committee of National Assembly at Mathuki market.
Locals complained that the whole process was marred with corruption. Some of them alleged that they were given fake title deeds which are just paper and do not have their correct land size and their ID numbers in them.
“When the survey people at Mwingi heard there was coal here, they began stealing our land from the office. They were transferred and those who came after them have now given us fake titles.” an elder told the energy committee.
“We do not want coal to be mined,it has poison which will affect our people and lead to premature births for women and albinism in new born babies.” One of the locals told the committee.
“We are not talking of resettlement as we are going no where. We are here to stay.” another resident said. “This is our God given land, we have refused with it. No mining will take place here. It is a dream.” another local added.
“Do not be deceived, even the nations considered as coal experts are shutting down coal mines. In China alone more than a million people die annually due to coal mining. Some few years ago they closed 151 coal mines. In america 531 coal powered power plants were closed between 2007-2016.” a resident said.
The committee chair David Gikaria assured locals that within two weeks the report would be out and their views will reflect in them report. In June 2018, Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu vowed to extract minerals in the area despite what she termed as personal interests of some leaders.