28th July 2015
NINE Kwale residents have given the Mining ministry a seven-day notice to revoke the licence of a firm seeking to explore mineral sands in the county or face legal action.
The nine have accused the firm, Supreme Resources Kenya, of forging their consent to prospect for minerals in their land prior to application for the special licence.
Locals claim Balala cleared the firm to conduct mineral sand exploration in Msambweni, Matuga and Lunga Lunga sub-counties without consultations.
In a notice of objection to the Commissioner of Mines, through L.A Oketch and Company Advocates, the locals want Cabinet secretary Najib Balala to explain his interests in the company, claiming he is a close ally to one of its directors.
“We hereby inform you that our clients indeed object to the grant of the said special licence and the said mining exploration project as a whole,” reads the letter by the law firm.
“We have given the ministry seven days to de-gazette the company the same way they gazetted it,” said Matthias Mutua of Mivumoni-Msambweni on behalf of residents.
Kwale mining executive Ali Mafimbo said the county government was also not consulted.
“We agree with the community. The process should have involved them and the Kwale leadership,” said Mafimbo on phone.
The company however maintains that it had consulted locals on the project.
“I don’t want to comment more since the issue is taking a legal way,” Yusuf Murigu, one of the directors told the Star.
The company was registered on July 24, 2014 according to the registrar of companies.
Apart from Murigi, other directors include Leila Kibwana and Sri Lankan Sohan Saminda Koralalage who is the majority shareholder.
Documents seen by the Star show Supreme’s prospecting licence was filed with the ministry on January 9 and its application published in a Kenya Gazette notice number 2428 of April 10, 2015.
The company is to prospect an area covering 108.65 kilometers, a cadastre map shows.
Murigu was in 2010 appointed to the Kenya Tourism Development Corporation under gazette Notice 3218 of April 1, by Balala when he was the Tourism minister.
The two are also officials at the Kenya-Arab Friendship Society.
Balala could not be reached for comment as his phone went unanswered.
He had however told the Star in an earlier interview, that his ministry had stopped the process.