The Star (Nairobi)

15 January 2013

Kenya: Aspirants Wants Factories Build Near Kitui Mines

A Kitui county governor aspirant has urged the government and the mining companies to ensure that the minerals processing factories are constructed at the mining sites.

"I cannot see the reason why the factories should be constructed far from the mining site especially on the coal rich Mui Basin which starts in a short while," said Julius Makau Malombe. He was speaking at the Ciampiu Market in Tharaka ward in Mumoni district.

Malombe said talk has been rife that the factories will be constructed in Lamu. He said this will deny the residents an opportunity to get jobs. Malombe said if its true the factories are to build in Lamu, the move would be interpreted as "selfish". He said if elected as a governor, he will make sure that the factories are built at the mining sites.

"I cannot deny that water is the biggest challenge when it comes to processing of coal," said Malombe. "But I want to assure you that water will be brought at the site." He said Lamu was being considered because the town is next to the sea.

The aspirant said coal will make Kitui county to be the richest of all the 47 counties in Kenya. He said this will only be possible if the right procedures are followed to ensure there is no corruption.

Malombe called on the residents to make sure they make wise decisions when nominating for the governors aspirant on Thursday. He said poor choice of leaders will not bring development. He said every governor will be required to table a vision for his county after nine months.

"If I was involved in implementing Vision 2030 which included 47 counties, I cannot see how Kitui county alone can defeat me. I have enough experience in crafting policies," said Malombe.

The aspirant assured the residents that he will make sure the county has enough network coverage. He said there is poor communication network in the area.

He however urged residents to make sure they come out in large numbers during nominations.

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