Kenya: Kwale Youth Demand Sh6bn Titanium Mining Royalties

31 August 2021

Young people in Kwale County want the government to release mining royalties owed to them by Base Titanium.

They say they are owed about Sh6 billion, which has accrued over the past six years and which Base Titanium says it had remitted to the government.

Speaking in Diani, the Kwale Youth Assembly (KYA) said the money will help develop youth-led projects and curb insecurity arising from poverty and unemployment.

"This is the money we need to empower ourselves and develop various sectors in our county. Unfortunately, such resources are taken from our land as residents struggle," said KYA president Rashid Ali Mwabagizo.

KYA comprises young people from Kwale sub-counties who meet to discuss issues affecting them.

Mwakitoa Kassim, an official of the group, said the delay in releasing the money had hurt development in the community.

"We are not just looking at it as royalties, but how such a huge amount of money is going to aid in development, especially in rural areas," he said.

He spoke before the third session of the sitting that was also meant to discuss emerging issues in the county.

This comes as the group said it wanted to organise a sitting with the National Assembly's Finance and Land and Natural Resources committees to address the same issue and push their agenda.

In his visit to Kwale in May during the launch of the Community Development Agreement, Mining Cabinet Secretary John Munyes said a panel comprising lawmakers and ministry officials had been formed to discuss how the royalties will be distributed to the county government and locals.

"We are putting a lot of pressure on that because it is the National Treasury that is supposed to send us the money that is to be disbursed to locals and county governments. We shall be working with the Treasury to get a framework for the same," he said.

Under its mining deal, Base Titanium cedes part of its annual after-tax revenues to the government.

Base Titanium, the largest mining company in Kenya, exports the minerals to different parts of the world, earning millions each year.

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