Counties

Munye fuels Nandi, gold firm dispute with permit renewal

munyes

Mining and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary John Munyes. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Summary

  • Petroleum and Mining Cabinet Secretary John Munyes has fuelled a dispute between a gold firm and Nandi County government after renewing its licence for 25 years.
  • Karebe Gold Mining Company will have exclusive rights to extract the precious metal from the county until 2046, a move that has angered area leaders including Governor Stephen Sang and Senator Samson Cherargei.
  • The two accuse the company of exploiting the local community and had been pushing for the licence to be awarded to a different company.

Petroleum and Mining Cabinet Secretary John Munyes has fuelled a dispute between a gold firm and Nandi County government after renewing its licence for 25 years.

Karebe Gold Mining Company will have exclusive rights to extract the precious metal from the county until 2046, a move that has angered area leaders including Governor Stephen Sang and Senator Samson Cherargei have been opposing the permit renewal bid since coming to office in 2017.

The two accuse the company of exploiting the local community and had been pushing for the licence to be awarded to a different company.

But the company claims the two leaders have been working with powerful personalities outside the county to have Karebe shut down to create room for some Chinese investors.

The county government has in the past refuted the claims, saying it interest was in uplifting the living standards of its residents.

“Karebe Gold Mining Company... is granted the Exclusive right to mine precious metals (Gold) within and over the specified area,”reads a letter from Mr Munyes dated April 1.

The ministry expects Karebe to pay about Sh1.2 billion yearly to national government in royalties.

Following the licence renewal, the county government lands CEC Philemon Buret has directed the company to stop all operations, accusing it of contravening regulations set in the Physical and Land Use Planning Act, 2019.

The county government wants the company to “seek development approval in line with Physical and Land use planning Act, 2019 within 21 working days”.