Stop politicising Post-Mining Land Use Committee, Kwale residents told

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This came after a section of residents affected by the mining activities and rights groups raised concerns about being sidelined by the government.

Mining Cabinet Secretary Salim Mvurya has warned residents of Msambweni and Lunga Lunga in Kwale County against politicising the Post-Mining Land Use Committee.

This came after a section of residents affected by the mining activities and rights groups raised concerns about being sidelined by the government.

The residents questioned the legitimacy of the committee chaired by Mining Principal Secretary Elijah Mwangi, complaining about a lack of community representation, and threatened to form a shadow committee to represent their interests.

The committee is tasked with gathering public input and overseeing the transition of land use post-mining. It was established as the Australian mining company, Base Titanium, prepares to exit the country in December following the depletion of minerals in the area.

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

"I assure you; every legal requirement was strictly adhered to. Please refrain from politicking this matter," he said on Monday.

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

The team includes stakeholders such as community members, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), experts, locals and leaders, ensuring robust representation from elected officials and community leaders.

"I urge everyone to note the scheduled dates of stakeholder meetings and participate actively instead of resorting to complaints," Mvurya said of the gatherings that will be planned by the ministry.

Discussions will focus on land use after active mining ceases and associated activities.

The CS said the committee's role is pivotal as it navigates the complex landscape of land use transition in Kwale following years of activity.

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

Mvurya encouraged all stakeholders 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 use.

Mvurya also dismissed claims of a hidden government agenda concerning the mined land and announced that 6,000 hectares would be under the national government.

"We are not going to subdivide this land to individuals," he said and urged residents and political leaders to familiarise themselves with relevant laws so that their complaints are based on fact.

Msambweni Sub-county Deputy County Commissioner Josphat Mutisyo cautioned rights groups against inciting locals and assured transparency and inclusivity in decision-making processes.

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

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