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MP wants creation of mining committees halted

Kwale Woman Rep Ms. Zulekha Juma wants the ongoing recruitment of representatives to the mining related Community Development Agreement Committees (CDAs) in the county suspended with immediate effect until the relevant regulations are reviewed.
The MP has written to the Mining Cabinet Secretary seeking to have the exercise discontinued citing flaws that need to be urgently addressed in the Mining Community Development Agreement Regulations of 2017.
She wants the regulations reviewed in line with Section 4 of the Mining Act 2016 which defines a community as a group of people living around an exploration and mining operations area, or those who may be displaced by mining related activities.
“As it stands now, the committee is made up primarily of National and County appointed and elected leaders not the community members envisaged by the Act,” she declared in her letter.
In addition, claimed that representatives are being handpicked in blatant contravention of the regulations.
“The exercise is being done mostly through a method that can only be considered as handpicking and not electing as the law requires,” claimed Ms. Juma.
She said the opinion of many in the affected communities, is that the National and County Governments have been allocated 70 percent and 20 percent of mineral royalties, respectively, paid by Base Titanium Mining Company; hence do not need to be overly represented again in overseeing the 10 percent community share.
The legislator said the names of those picked as representatives were to be forwarded to the Ministry for gazettement this week by the County Commissioner’s office. She urged the Ministry to treat the matter as urgent and of national importance.
The recruitment has generated a lot of interest among locals as the CDA members will reportedly enjoy awesome benefits and perks from the Australian mining firm which has been posting huge profits from mineral exports.
On Monday, youth from Waa-Ng’ombeni and Tiwi locations clashed during the recruitment of their CDA representative at Kombani Social Hall.
Chaos marred the exercise which saw the representative picked through queue voting system, famously called ‘mlolongo’ after the youth declined the secret ballot.
By James Muchai

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