18th August 2016
By Abiud Ochieng
Mining companies in Taita Taveta County will be investigated over allegations of human rights violations.
The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) has stated that it will launch investigations into claims of abuse of mine workers and communities in three sub-counties.
The investigations will involve a public inquiry which will begin on August 22 to September 2.
In a statement, KNCHR Chairperson Kagwiria Mbogori said they have been receiving and documenting complaints from individuals and groups in Voi, Mwatate and Wundanyi.
Among the issues raised by the aggrieved parties are exploitation of the community by mining companies, irregular and unlawful acquisition of community land by private investors, threats of forced evictions and demolition of houses, widespread labour malpractices and environmental concerns.
Ms Mbogori said the aim of the inquiry is to unearth the human rights violations in the mining sector.
“We also seek to ensure the enjoyment of fundamental freedoms as envisioned in Chapter 4 of the Constitution of Kenya,” Mr Mbogori.
The public inquiry will incorporate participation of the public, investors and other key government and non-governmental stakeholders working in the County.
She encouraged victims and stakeholders to participate in the public forum and submit oral evidence or written submissions.
The findings, results and recommendations will be published and shared with key and relevant players in both public and private institutions.
The Commission will also use the opportunity to empower communities to participate in decision making on various aspects of human rights in the mining sector.