Uhuru Trading ICC Woes for Kenya’s Minerals

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Trading ICC Woes for Kenya’s Wealth: Kenyatta’s Stealth Onslaught on Kenya’s Minerals and Communal Land!

It has been reported that Mining Minister Najib Balala has revoked all mining lincences issued recently. Instead of forming a public company (owned by all Kenyans) which would hold stakes in mines and oil, alongside a sovereign wealth fund to manage revenue from these industries on behalf of all Kenyans, Uhuru Kenyatta is walking the nation through secretly negotiated dealings that will instead privatize our natural resources for exploitation of multinational corporations and few oligarchs like himself.

If Jubilee ever lies they intend to do so –it would be nothing but lip service and plain lies! That’s because behind closed doors, lopsided mineral dealings are currently ongoing – with the center of these negotiations being the horse-trading of Kenyatta and Ruto’s personal (legal) problems at the ICC.

Media is completely silent to report the real intrigues behind such moves by Balala (dictated from State House) which are otherwise keeping many County Governors restless.

http://www.nation.co.ke/News/politics/-/1064/1937788/-/c3w9qc/-/index.html

THE TRUTH BEHIND BALALA’S REVOCATION OF MINERAL LICENSES

1.      Kenya’s stash of underground minerals is worth hundreds of times more than the recent oil and natural gas finds. The country has the 2nd largest Niobium mine in the world. Niobium’s global market is currently hot – likely to fetch billions of dollars to corporations exporting it – because of its use in assembling computer and aircraft parts.

2.      Chinese, Canadian, South African and a few European mining companies are engaged in fierce wars over control of these mines. It is against this backdrop that Uhuru Kenyatta is secretly using his ICC legal troubles as bargaining chip for negotiating new mining and oil contracts.

3.      Kenyatta himself sits on huge tracts of irregularly acquired land underneath which lie several of these mines within the newly devolved (but still weak and poorly funded) Counties of Taita Taveta, Kwale, and Kilifi.

4.      In 2011, there were only 30 registered mining companies in Kenya – today the number stands at above 300. A Chinese mining corporation recently signed a Sh 8 Trillion mining deal for Niobium mining at Kwale. Cortec Mining, a subsidiary of Canada’s Pacific Wildcat Resources (alongside few Anglo-Leasing-type Kenyan oligarchs), also recently signed a deal to mine Niobium in the same vicinity.

5.      The trouble is – these humongous contracts were facilitated by Kibaki-era bureaucrats who made billions in kickbacks. The incoming Uhuruto crew is equally zealous to make their own cut, and use their ICC woes as leverage to secure NEW quid-pro-quo deals with the Canadians, Chinese, South Africans, French, and Anglo-American interests.They want to cut out competition and control an oligarchy of just a few cartels exploiting Kenya’s minerals.

6.      It is against this backdrop that Uhuru Kenyatta has suspended the Kibaki-appointed Commissioner of Mines Moses Masibo and revoked all the mining licences issued under the Kibaki administration. At the table of all new negotiations is –“drop the ICC charges then we sign deals!”

7.      Parallel to the new mining dealings to be “overseen” by Uhuru’s new errand-man Najib Balala (Mining Minister), is a simultaneous frenzy of acquisition of land titles in the mines spanning across Kwale, Taita Taveta, Kilifi, Machakos, and Kitui. These irregular land speculation dealings are currently passing through the hands of Charity Ngilu (Lands Minister).  

CASE STUDY: TAITA TAVETA COUNTY MINERALS AND THE KENYATTA FAMILY IS AN OLD SECRET

·         * The idle land held by the Kenyatta family in the counties of Taita Taveta, Kwale, Lamu and Kilifi are essentially speculation holdings underneath which lie multi-billion-worth of natural minerals.

·        *  The secret to this wealth was shared to Jomo Kenyatta by outgoing British colonialists in secret pre-independence deals –following prospective studies done by British Geologists in the 1950s. Kenyatta’s nephew Beth Mugo has been actively involved in privatization of these mining concerns.

·         * The Kenyatta family specifically sits on 74,000 acres of Taveta and 30,000 acres of Taita land underneath which lie gemstones and minerals like Niobium, Tsavorite, Ruby, Sapphire, Tourmalines, Rhodolites, Kyanites and about 40 agro-minerals minerals like limestone and phosphates.

·         * As per the 2009 census, a majority of Taita Taveta’s population of 300,000 live in dire poverty (66%) while remaining disenfranchised from ancestral land that they could be farming – by 2 families, the Kenyattas and the Criticos. The story of Kwale and Kilifi is similar – a sad case of gross expropriation of land from poor natives. This is the same tale recently witnessed at Narasha (Ol Karia).

·         * The Jubilee government of Uhuru Kenyatta is planning to completely privatize these mining concerns to rake in huge multi-billion payoffs and also to buy into stake-holdings of incoming mining companies.

·         In all this, where is the voice of natives of devolved counties and other Kenyan taxpayers?

Kenyans of all walks of life, of all ages, all races and tribes, from all 47 Counties need to call for serious dialogue regarding the future management of our natural resources – for the benefit of all Kenyans, not just a privileged few. A Parliament that is not beholden to parochial “Jubilee” interests should have essentially taken lead in this serious matter.

The opposition may have helped unearth these irregularities but should not be intimidated into silence regarding this plain robbery. The ICC problem should not be used to further disenfranchise Kenyans.   

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16 comments on “Uhuru Trading ICC Woes for Kenya’s Minerals

  1. “……Beth International, associated with nominated Senator Beth Mugo also entered into talks with a Chinese firm for possible business deal to trade in gemstones. …”

    http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/?articleID=2000091969&story_title=Kenya-kenyans-seal-multi-billion-shilling-deals-in-china

    HON Beth Mugo, a close relative of Kenyattas, is in court to challenge the TJRC report on matters relating to land grabbing in Kenya’s coast in the 1960s and 1970s. She is also a large scale land owner along the coast.

  2. Looking East won’t end Uhuru’s troubles

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    Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping shake hands during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Monday. PHOTO | AFP

    In Things Fall Apart, celebrated author Chinua Achebe “pinched” a line from Irish poet William Butler Yates.

    The poem — The Second Coming — contains vintage one-liners that defy time.

    Several of them describe President Uhuru Kenyatta’s predicament, and the quandary of his regime. Nowhere is this more poignant than in his “escape” East to counter President Barack Obama’s snub, and his awkward dance with the West.

    Mr Kenyatta was declared winner of the March 4 election, but “everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned”. The poem says that the “best lack conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity”.

    We should ask — “can the centre hold,” or is “mere anarchy loosed upon the world?” Will “things fall apart?”

    I chose the poem because it best captures the political – and emotional – turbulence eating at Kenya today.

    We’ve never been here before — not even in the darkest days under Kanu’s President Daniel arap Moi. Never before have we been so divided, and devoid of civility. The filthiest epithets easily roll from our native tongues.

    MPs openly loot the national purse, and then scornfully ask us mta do? The floodgates open. Every worker and professional follows suit and threatens a strike to pig at the trough.

    Terrorists and assorted criminals kill and maim Kenyans with impunity. The lethality and brazen nature of the attacks point to a state under siege. The republic seems completely flummoxed.

    At the centre of power — in State House — the fledgling regime looks like deer caught in the headlights. It says it’s implementing a Constitution it doesn’t seem to believe in.

    A DIVIDED COUNTRY

    Mr Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto can’t decide what to do with devolution of key functions to the counties. They want to cannibalise county governments, but that’s easier thought than done. Nor do they seem to like the Senate.

    The new Cabinet and senior bureaucrats are either fumbling for direction, invisible, or are clueless.

    The police chief is at cross-purposes with his civilian overseer. It seems the “falcon cannot hear the falconer”. Is “mere anarchy loosed upon the world”? Who will arrest the downward spiral, and restore sanity?

    This brings me to the two elephants in the room and why Mr Kenyatta is running East. Everyone, even the defiant Jubilee crowd, knows the March 4 election left the country deeply divided.
    We can’t bury our heads in the sand, or manufacture false unity or consensus that doesn’t exist. Nor can we simply “accept and move on”. This is the attitude that has failed Kenya in the past, and contributed to festering historical wounds.

    Let me confess: I will throw up the next time someone tells me to “accept and move on”.

    Tribal jingoism is the bane of our existence. So are statements like “tyranny of numbers”. How do we avoid “turning and turning in the widening gyre?”

    The second elephant — why Mr Kenyatta is really darting East — is The Hague trials for crimes against humanity.

    Don’t let anybody lie to you — Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto are spending sleepless nights. They’re using every state lever to make the International Criminal Court go away. But it can’t, and won’t. This is their top priority.

    Attorney-General Githu Muigai has been put on the ball. The push to have the African Union stare down the ICC is proof positive. That exercise came a cropper. Nor will any “circumlocutions” at the UN Security Council amount to a hill of beans. It tells you that a regime whose two top leaders are personally beleaguered can’t keep its eyes on the ball.

    The dagger to the heart of Mr Kenyatta’s regime was delivered by US President Barack Obama. He snubbed Kenya on his African tour. It’s common knowledge that Mr Obama would have liked to use the American state to lift Kenya. But the Kenyan state has shot itself on every conceivable foot.

    First, it was former President Mwai Kibaki’s bungled election and the subsequent blood-letting. Then, it was this year’s disputed election of a duo charged with heinous international crimes. In tennis, these are called “unforced errors”.

    Let me tell you something — Kenyans missed a golden opportunity to leverage “their son” in the White House. It’ll likely never come again. Does Mr Kenyatta’s refuge lie in turning East?

    Every Third World leader who has been shunned by the West tries to “find love” out East. Mr Kenyatta isn’t different.

    During the Cold War, many an African state played the concubine to either the West or East. Some — like Somalia — were devastated by that state of concubinage. That’s why Mr Kenyatta must be careful.

    He went to Russia and China. The former is a bear, the latter a dragon. He may be the scion of the Burning Spear, but his hosts were beasts of prey. They know how to pounce on their kill. They know Mr Kenyatta is unloved by Kenya’s historical masters. He’s vulnerable. That’s why Mr Kenyatta’s $5 billion “agreement” with the Chinese could be one-sided.

    Neither the Russian bear, nor the Chinese dragon, are in love or party to the ICC. That’s why Mr Kenyatta was at home with them. That explains his photo-ops with top Chinese leaders, although the Russians didn’t exactly oblige. The rule of law, human rights, democracy, and The Hague trials are simply minor details to them.

    It’s good news, the memory of JKIA’s mysterious inferno has receded without too much international image damage.

    But I have news for Mr Kenyatta. Running East won’t resolve the domestic crises of insecurity and economy, nor make the ICC disappear.

    Makau Mutua is Dean and SUNY Distinguished Professor at SUNY Buffalo Law School and Chair of the KHRC. @makaumutua.

    http://www.nation.co.ke/oped/Opinion/-/440808/1967128/-/iy2qq2z/-/index.html

  3. It is SAD that as Kenyans we see conspiracy everywhere. At independence the Kenyatta Family did not acquire[grab or whatever] the best land in the country, but some of the most agriculturally unproductive.

    Taita has some of the driest areas (The Nyika ..read your Geography) and is not suitable for green agriculture, other than Sisal, so lets not say that the locals will benefit if they grow food their…that is a lie.

    However, the area has wild life, the Kilimanjaro, good hills and also used as a holding grazing grounds by cattle merchants who want to export their cows.

    Taita Leadership (and not others from outside) and those with investments in Taita (Kenyatta’s, Criticos e.t.c) need to focus on (i) how can the locals benefit from these basic activities, wild life and export cattle – the Masai benefit from the game in Masai Mara and so should the Taita’s. What happens to the cess collected from the parks? Are the headers charged for their cattle when using the holding areas? What happens to the sisal products cess? We have hotels in the area, what happens to the Hotel cess?

    The question is (i) What is the focus of the leadership in Taita – it should be education (Hospitality, Mining engineering services), urbanization of population and, Tourism. Agriculture holds very low promise due to the weather.

    The reality is that mining does not usually benefit the local population unless they have relevant, skilled labour force, hence the importance of EDUCATION. Taita needs post-secondary eduction skills in mechanical engineering, automotive, machine operators, repair and maintenance, air conditioning, hydrology, chemical engineering, meteorology, mineral processing, electrical engineering, civil engineering, jobs with +50K pm income i.e. the things you would find in a typical mining town.- Mombasa Polytechnic was geared to provide just that. Is Taita preparing for that or are people from outside going to be the key beneficiaries.

    So who every wrote the article above is ignorant and probably is a newly educated elite who is trying to find his/her place in society by trying to educate us using poorly researched facts. Study some geography and economics first before making wild allegations and writing such an emotional and trashy article.

    It is not who owns the land but rather how the resources are utilized and what opportunities are generated and how prepared the locals are to take advantage of these opportunities. After all we[Many] are all just emerging from being cattle and goat headers and our skill base and experience is therefore limited.

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      Mguu Kubwa,

      You purport:

      It is SAD that as Kenyans we see conspiracy everywhere. At independence the Kenyatta Family did not acquire[grab or whatever] the best land in the country, but some of the most agriculturally unproductive.

      That’s pure hogwash!

      Land grabbing by the Kenyatta family has never been a conspiracy to most Kenyans. It is in fact a painful reality to hundreds of thousands (if not millions) whose communal lands were expropriated.

      Unless you just landed from another planet, land in Kiambu, Nakuru, Eldoret, Nairobi, Kwale, Kilifi, Mombasa, Taita Taveta cannot by any standard be excluded from amongst the nation’s best. Land productivity is also not restricted to agriculture. Whereas Kenyatta’s land grabs in Central and Rift Valley had ambitions in agricultural production, parcels at the coastal beach front were for speculative purposes in anticipated hospitality development (hotels, resorts, villas), while those at Taita Taveta were for mining and tourist (Wildlife sightseeing) agendas (private conservatories, tourist sanctuaries). Sisal farming was merely a convenient and cheap undertaking by the Kenyattas and Criticos’ to justify ongoing economic use of the land while keeping the locals away– essentially declassifying the holdings as not being “idle parcels”. It is a well known tactic by large scale grabbers.

      You claim:

      Taita has some of the driest areas (The Nyika ..read your Geography) and is not suitable for green agriculture, other than Sisal, so lets not say that the locals will benefit if they grow food their…that is a lie.

      Another outright twaddle! The Taita people can chart their own economic empowerment routes without condescending patronage from Nairobi. Who tells you Taita has no agricultural promise? Did you know how much produce is grown in Israel’s deserts? What lie exists in anticipating food production from Taita land so long as water and fertilizers are present? You definitely and evidently have no clue about the agricultural potential of Taita, even without age old irrigation.

      You also say:

      Taita Leadership (and not others from outside) and those with investments in Taita (Kenyatta’s, Criticos e.t.c) need to focus on (i) how can the locals benefit from these basic activities, wild life and export cattle – the Masai benefit from the game in Masai Mara and so should the Taita’s.

      What the Taita Leadership has agitated for years is access to land (for the Taitas) and freedom to engage in economically productive activities. It starts with Constitutional and political empowerment of locals, irrespective of their population numbers. It would be good if they had land title deeds in hand – which could be deposited in banks for access to start-up loans or portions sold for requisite capital – rather than remain squatters in ancestral land. It could be fantastic if the local Wildlife sanctuaries were benefiting locally devolved county government. As it stands, even in Maasai Mara, the Narok County has been booted from cess collection – private agents employed by Equity Bank and sent from Nairobi are the custodians of the tourist’s foreign currency. Why? Because of little political clout of Maasai leadership – which has historically been imposed upon locals through sycophancy and patronage directed from State House Nairobi! The same applies to Taita — locals are slapped with imposed leaders financed by the land grabbers…if not the grabbers themselves (ala Basil Criticos).

      The end result: Locals are subdued and forbidden from encroaching into: the “private property” of the President and Criticos, Wildlife Protected zones; and Private Mining Land – all which are incidentally their ancestral land. The local population is in essence confined into being squatters. Does a squatter have enough land for cattle ranching or irrigation farming? Do they have access to tangible and independently owned economic activities other than being farm-helps in the Kenyatta or Criticos plantations? Can squatters afford to provide quality education to most of their kids — in mechanical engineering, mining processing, and all the fields you list –whether at Polytechnics or universities? Be the judge. There are definitely compelling reasons why over 60% of the local Taita population are wallowing in poverty…which they themselves understand.

      The brand new Constitution that provided devolution (including the county government of Taita Taveta) is already under threat, with plans for extinction of counties through defunding them and weakening the senate. Furthermore, counties like Taita Taveta are under parallel guardianship by black viceroys called County Commissioners. It can be argued that the Taita Taveta County Commissioner is really an overseer of Kenyatta’s grabbed (commercial) concerns at taxpayer expense.

      You further go astray:

      The reality is that mining does not usually benefit the local population unless they have relevant, skilled labour force, hence the importance of EDUCATION. Taita needs post-secondary eduction skills in mechanical engineering, automotive, machine operators, repair and maintenance, air conditioning, hydrology, chemical engineering, meteorology, mineral processing, electrical engineering, civil engineering, jobs with +50K pm income i.e. the things you would find in a typical mining town.- Mombasa Polytechnic was geared to provide just that. Is Taita preparing for that or are people from outside going to be the key beneficiaries.

      So who every wrote the article above is ignorant and probably is a newly educated elite who is trying to find his/her place in society by trying to educate us using poorly researched facts. Study some geography and economics first before making wild allegations and writing such an emotional and trashy article.

      This (above) exposes your total ignorance on economic and geographical matters you purport to analyze. Only a fool will not see the simple logic that a poor disenfranchised Taita squatter who can barely afford a single square meal for their family (on a daily basis) can successfully educate their kids in a liberalized, highly competitive, space-limited, privatization-driven education sector. What is in fact emotional and trashy is your half-baked and poor attempt to cloth the naked emperor disenfranchising the Taita of their ancestral land.

      It is plain naïve to assume that Taita squatters somehow have fantastic four-walled classrooms and upscale schools tucked in between the sisal rows in the plantations –where quality education doles out free; followed by free passageway into Mombasa polytechnic (a national institution) in a neighbouring county (Mombasa); whereupon without dropping a cent, youth happily churn out with diplomas in every field (in high demand) and straight into the local mine town. Your mind must be filled with fairytales. How many 50K pm jobs are existent in the entire Republic of Kenya, leave alone Taita?

      Such uninformed statements coming against screaming evidence of colossal youth unemployment (nationally) – whereby college and university graduates in engineering, commerce, humanities, and sciences can’t even find menial jobs – exposes the tragedy that is our education system in Kenya. We have quite a number of folks today who will come out confidently without blinking an eye, trumpet their being educated, yet spewing out embarrassing levels of inanity and idiocy. They outline “brilliant” solutions to our economic problems in one short paragraph filled with theoretical and waffle nonsense.

      Besides the absurdity, it smacks gross insensitivity to patronize disenfranchised populations like the Taita through statements like “Is Taita preparing [to educate their kids] or people from outside are going to be the key beneficiaries? Why not start with the key beneficiaries from outside –like Kenyatta and Criticos — who made them poor in the first place (through robbing them their livelihood)?

      Your type of fellas absolutely see no connection between fundamental issues like land reforms & strengthening of devolved governments with the ability to invest in real schools and locally-geared polytechnics. To them, the Kenyan state should remain as constructed by the colonialist –to serve an elite settler class. Land that is classed as “agriculturally unproductive” should be consigned to “low priority” development in their books. This is the kind of thinking that does not see the sending of kids to Mombasa Polytechnic in itself –as a local form of inevitable brain drain and export of migrant labor. The development of mining towns in Taita should start locally, not in Mombasa, Nairobi or elsewhere. It starts with freeing Taita people of the gorilla on their backs – which has consigned them to perpetual poverty such that they are unable to send their kids to school. Sending 45% plus of national revenue to the counties and empowering locals…with primary reforms such as equitable issuance of land title deeds are badly needed – not more of the same!

      • # response of Mguu Kubwa aka Peter Kimemiah to Job. Could we all please be consistent in our blog-names on this site for easy identification when responding to a member’s post – Moderator#
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        I have one simple word for you smell Communist!

        You appear to be a new academic elites who are discovering the power of the social media. Lesson One: Please make suggestions that will result in some thing tangible. Based on your augments only a Revolution seems the way out, and we all know historically(local, international) where that leads.

        I will repeat to you again. The only way out for all Kenyans in a modern economy is through education. It is the easiest and most fair way to get skills beyond subsistence existence which 80% of Kenyas belong, even before we were colonised. So nobody has made people poor, people have just not been able to move on fast enough. May be you have some workable suggestions on that score. If you augments are true on issue of land, Tanzania should be miles ahead of us.

        I will say strongly, that we will need to move people from the rural areas as has happened when society become more developed. Everywhere in the world rural living conditions are difficult, the only difference between the third world like Kenya and country like Malaysia is that we have +80% in such conditions while Malaysia has <10%. Hence we have more notably poorer people. The Chinese have realised this and are spending significantly on building cities.

        You are right that many Kenyan Youths are un-employed even after getting an "education". Like has happened in other countries our youth will need to be creative with the knowledge they have, and use it generate wealth and take opportunities (Indians have created some good jobs and enterprises, though 30% are still below poverty line). Education is not a ticket to a job – any more. Our newly educated Kenyans must discover how to create employment on their own, including knowing how to lobby for resources that will help them move forward and out of the poverty trap. Governments the world over have been very poor at assisting youth because as Human Beings we seek always to maintain the status especially if you are in the elite (educational, economic, political, etc) class.

        I suggest that you try to be more pragmatic about our problems, and how to solve them instead of complaining. You may excite a few with rhetoric (which you do very well) but that is as far as you will go if you do not have any concrete suggestions( which you have very little of unfortunately for all of us).

        My I say that Uhuru Kenyatta, Daniel Moi, E Kibaki have created more jobs than your type. This is despite what ever short comings they may have.

        All i can say is – YOU NEED HELP and prayers that you may see HOPE where there is despair, that you will learn to LOVE people who are different from you and that you try an understand our problems and propose concrete solutions.

  4. Mining firm sues Balala over license for cancelling permit

    A mining company Thursday sued Mining Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala for cancelling its licence.

    Cortec Mining-Kenya Ltd told Mr Justice Weldon Korir that the decision to cancel the licence was unlawful and that it would lose $600 billion (Sh53 trillion) in investments.
    Revoked licence

    The company said it had obtained approval from the National Environmental Management Authority to mine at a cost of Sh13 million.

    Other approvals had been given by the Kenya Forest Service and the County Council of Kwale, when the minister revoked the licence, said Cortec-Kenya, adding it had not breached the Mining Act in any way.
    The company wants to revoke Mr Balala’s directive since it had been issued with a valid licence on March 7 and that it was about to start mining niobium and rare earth metals.

    Justice Korir directed the company’s lawyer, Mr Nelson Havi, to serve the Cabinet Secretary and the Attorney-General.

    “Serve the respondents and come back on August 20, for a hearing,” the judge directed Mr Havi.

    In a supporting affidavit, Cortec Mining-Kenya managing director David Anderson stated that by August 5, the firm had completed prospecting and exploration in terms of the licences and had identified commercially viable deposits of niobium and rare earth elements at a cost of Sh475 million.

    Ulterior motive

    He noted that the company had invested nearly half a billion Kenya shillings in the Mrima Hill project (Kwale County), and that the net present value of the mineral resource through exploration stood in excess of $1 billion (Sh88 billion), whereas the in-ground value stood in the excess of $600 billion.

    The firm claimed the decision to cancel its licence was “actuated by and based on an ulterior motive.”

    http://www.nation.co.ke/news/Mining+firm+sues+Balala+over+license+for+cancelling+permit/-/1056/1955378/-/xi56kt/-/index.html

  5. Mining licences were issued in a rush, says Balala

    Many of the companies at the centre of Kenya’s biggest mining scandal were hurriedly issued with licences without following the laid down law.

    Mining Cabinet Secretary Najib Blala said on Wednesday that the permits were given before the expiry of the 30-day window for members of the public to raise any objections.

    He blamed suspended commissioner for mines and geology Moses Masibo for the breaches.

    “He breached his own gazette notice, he ought to have waited until the end of the 30 days before issuing the licences. Instead, he rushed to issue the licences long before the period ended,” Mr Balala added.

    Mr Masibo could not be reached to respond to Mr Balala’s accusations.

    It also emerged that many of the firms affected applied for the licences as the country nervously waited for the results of the March 4 presidential election.

    The Nation has established that 11 of the companies whose licences were revoked on Monday applied for them on March 8, this year, four days after the General Election and a day before the presidential election results were announced.

    A gazette notice dated March 8, 2013 and signed by Mr Masibo stated that the 11 companies had applied for special licences to prospect for precious and base metals in various parts of the country.

    In the notices, Mr Masibo stated that the applications had been “accepted for consideration” and gave members of the public 30 days to raise any objections, failing which the licences would be given.

    On Wednesday, Mr Balala accused Masibo of breaching a government directive not to issue any licences during the transition period. “Some of the licences were issued after the government had ordered all commissioners not to issue any licences until the Cabinet was sworn in,” Mr Balala stated.

    The companies which applied for licences to prospect for the precious and base metals include Wacho Investments Ltd, Turkana Mineral Exploration Company, African Line Transport, Regional Bargains Ltd, AQ Kenya Ltd, Gichoya Mines Ltd and Nobis Company Ltd.

    Others are Dangote Kenya Ltd, Mineral Ventures Ltd, a Mr Collins Kiprono Bett and Alison Holdings Ltd.

    On Wednesday, Mr Jacob Juma, a director of Cortec, one of the companies affected by Mr Balala’s move, claimed he was keen on issuing the licence to Chinese investors.

    He said Cortec was aware of Chinese interests in the mineral resources in Kwale, adding that Mr Balala recently made a trip to China where he could have brokered a deal to bring Chinese investors to Mrima Hills.

    Mr Balala admitted that he indeed travelled to China and met Chinese investors but dismissed the allegation that he was fronting for them.

    “Yes I was in China recently and the President will be in China next week. Chinese are investors like any other and they have a right to do business in the country but the right procedures must be followed. I am not fronting for any company, if Juma wants to politicise this matter, it is up to him,” said Mr Balala.

    Cortec says it was given a special prospecting licence number 256 in 2007 which was executed by the then commissioner of mines, Mr Kipsang Biwott on April 4, 2008.

    The licence, valid for two years and expiring in April 2010 allowed the company to prospect for niobium and rare earth minerals at Mrima Hills, an area that has been proven to contain multi-trillion shilling deposits.

    The licence was renewed in 2011 for a further three years meaning that it was set to expire next year.

    However, on March 7, this year, the company was awarded a special licence that was revoked on Monday.

    Industry analysts have cautioned that Mr Balala’s actions may lead to court battles which may cripple activity in the mining sector.

    On Tuesday, Kenya Chamber of Mines chairman Adiel Gitari said that Mr Balala’s action had gone against the spirit of collaboration between the government and investors in the mining sector.

    http://www.nation.co.ke/News/Licences+were+issued+in+a+rush+Balala/-/1056/1940654/-/on09ncz/-/index.html

  6. Here’s the scibd link to the list of companies whose licences are forthwith revoked

    And here is an immediate reaction from one of those companies

    Cortec Mining Kenya reaction to license revocation news

    Nairobi, 6th August 2013: At a press conference Mining Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala purportedly revoked 31 mining licenses issued between January 2013 and May 2013 stating that they were issued under unclear circumstances.

    Business Day on the same day in a press release intimated that Cortec Mining Kenya is one of the affected companies and has had its license revoked.

    We as Cortec Mining Kenya Ltd have not received any formal notification of such.

    Cortec is a mining and exploration company that has had special prospecting licenses since 2007and has diligently explored, drilled and sampled in the Kwale area constantly since then.

    Cortec applied for a mining license in early 2012 and completed all the necessary Mining Act requirements and was consequently awarded a mining license on the 7th March 2013 by the Department of Mines and Geology.

    We wish to state that the Hon Minister Mwakwere was the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources for the period January to May 2013 and the license was issued by his office.

    This license was issued legitimately and fairly after the discovery of substantial niobium and associated rare earths resources.

    At all times during the company’s drilling and exploration programs the Department of Mines and Geology were kept informed as to the drilling and assay results.

    Any attempts to unfairly or unconstitutionally revoke the Company’s license will be vigorously challenged in the Kenyan courts.

    Since 2008 Cortec has drilled 7,897 meters on Mrima Hill at a cost of over KES200 million. The analysis of this drilling has led to the identification of the sixth largest niobium resource in the world and the third largest rare earth resource outside of China.

    In total Cortec has spent close to KES500 million on exploration, community and development activities.

    High highlight of the resource include:

    Niobium

    • High Grade component of Indicated Mineral Resource estimate of 5.8 million tonnes at 1.41%

    Nb2O5 (>1.0% Nb2O5 cut off) plus 171% increase in Inferred Mineral Resource estimate to 17.5 million tonnes at 1.41% Nb2O5 (>1.0% Nb2O5 cut off) confirming Mrima Hill as one of the world’s highest grade Niobium deposits.

    • Indicated Mineral Resource estimate of 47.8 million tonnes at 0.66% Nb2O5 (>0.2% Nb2O5 cut off) plus Inferred Mineral Resource estimate of 94.4 million tonnes at 0.73% Nb2O5 (>0.2% Nb2O5 cut off) for a total of 2.22 Billion Pounds of contained Nb2O5.

    Rare Earths

    • High Grade component of Indicated Mineral Resource estimate of 11.2 million tonnes at 6.93% Total Rare Earth Oxides (TREO) (>5.8% TREO cut-off) plus Inferred Mineral Resource estimate of 15.6 million tonnes at 7.12% TREO (>5.8% TREO cut-off) confirming Mrima Hill as the world’s highest grade* undeveloped Rare Earth deposit.

    • Indicated Mineral Resource estimate of 48.7 million tonnes at 4.40% TREO (>1.0% TREO cut off) plus Inferred Mineral Resource estimate of 110.7 million tonnes at 3.61% TREO (>1.0% TREO cut off) for a total of 6.14 million tonnes of contained TREO.

    • High percentage (21%) of Indicated TREO Resource (>1.0% TREO cut off) consists of Critical Rare Earth Oxides (CREO) including Neodymium, Dysprosium, Europium, Terbium, and Yttrium.

    * Projects outside of China and where Total Project Resources exceed 0.75 Mt contained TREO.

    The results have been given to the Department of Mines and Geology in Kenya and serve to prove that the company is a serious, competent mining company.

    The specialized metals and minerals in the Cortec Mining areas require certain technical skills and expertise and Cortec Mining and their technical partners, Pacific Wildcat Resources, are able to provide these services with experts who have vast knowledge and experience in these metals.

    The company has not received any formal notice of the cancellation of their mining license and will strongly oppose the revocation of its legally acquired rights to mine.

    Kenya is a country that operates with a strong and fair judicial system and it is the company’s intention to vigorously challenge any abuse of our license or the company in the courts of Kenya.

    David Anderson
    Managing Director
    cortec@global.co.za

    • `
      The same culprits who have run down Kenya for the last 50 years are without doubt angling to fleece the nation’s natural resources. What more is new? Phil, in that list you linked:

      Raju Sanghaniallocated 633.5 square kilometers through a “special license” for purposes of exploration for “all minerals”.

      Raju Sanghani is:

      Kenya’s King of money laundering – sleek at converting illegal proceeds from drug trafficking, corruption or piracy into real estate.

      Kamlesh Pattni’s sidekick and one of the architects of the multibillion shilling Goldenberg Scandal

      One of the faceless “ghosts” of Anglo Leasing (K) that looted billions of taxpayer shillings

      The original host (in Kenya) of the drug and gun running mercenaries – Artur Brothers

      Known shylock to Kenya’s rogue politicians – frequently loans politicians campaign cash in exchange for government contracts if they come into power

      This is just one of the few sharks that inadvertently used their real names. You can bet also in that list are proxy companies for: Kamlesh Pattni, Nicholas Biwott, Beth Mugo, Chris Murungaru, Trans Century sharks et al…Anglo Fleecers and Goldenberg looters.

      I repeat again:

      Instead of forming a public company (owned by all Kenyans) which would hold stakes in mines and oil, alongside a sovereign wealth fund to manage revenue from these industries on behalf of all Kenyans, Uhuru Kenyatta (like Kibaki before him) is walking the nation through secretly negotiated dealings that will instead privatize our natural resources for exploitation of multinational corporations and few corrupt oligarchs like himself (& wakina Kamlesh, Sanghani, and other thugs).

      • Right on money Job!

        Jacob Juma – one of the wealthiest and most controversial business men in Nairobi today – owns 30% of Cortec Mining Kenya, a subsidiary of Canadian Pacifi c Wildcat Resources (PAW), a mineral exploration company. You now realise the reason for the loud protest (published above)! This man literally swims in money and is suspected to have made his real break through his contracting firm – Juma Construction Company Limited – during the Nyayo era, among the “cowboy contractors” Raila got rid off at roads and public works.

        http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/?articleID=2000090305&story_title=untold-story-of-kenya-s-biggest-mining-contract

        It seems most big shots are hiding behind the trade names but in reality; Uhuruto and associates are aiming to have a slice of this gravy train too.

        We know CORD’s Hon. Muthama is a big time international gemstones dealer and am not sure if these licences are linked to any of his firms.

        Beth Mugo and Ngegi Muigai are presently attacking the TJRC report through the judiary in an attempt to forestall gazettement and implementation of the report. Both are close kin of the Kenyatta family and both are land owners in Taita Taveta and Kwale. One does not need to be a NASA scientist to figure out that this is a case of the guilty being afraid.

      • `
        Phil et al.,

        The chicken are coming home to roost:

        http://www.nation.co.ke/business/news/Balala-asked-Sh80m-bribe-to-buy-house-Cortec-says/-/1006/1942684/-/aua5td/-/index.html

        Balala is merely Uhuruto’s gatekeeper in the mining sector. Uhuru Kenyatta knows this is his golden and only opportunity to exploit this sector — his deep interest in this sector is reflected in his specific action of creating a “special” Ministry for Mining.

        Since the vast Kenyatta land holdings with underground mines (from pre-independence geological secrets) lie at the coast (Taita, Taveta, Kilifi, Kwale),… in typical Nyayo fashion, Kenyatta appointed a native Coasterner –Balala– to be “in charge” of the exploitation.

        Balala is Uhuruto’s new gatekeeper for this multi-billion industry. All three must have their respective palm’s greased in this (status quo) gravy train. They have hit the ground literally running…it’s their turn to eat! And without doubt, as Kibaki taught them — they are running East to China…the land where contractual deals are signed in secrecy, with hefty kick-backs, and with no strings attached.

        Instead of forming a public company (owned by all Kenyans) which would hold stakes in mines and oil, alongside a sovereign wealth fund to manage revenue from these industries on behalf of all Kenyans, Uhuru Kenyatta (like Kibaki before him) is walking the nation through secretly negotiated dealings that will instead privatize our natural resources for exploitation of multinational corporations and few corrupt oligarchs like himself (& wakina Kamlesh, Sanghani, and other thugs).

        This Mining sector has real potential to offer real employment to tens of thousands of youth and get millions out of poverty. But it is being fenced off with the intention of benefiting just a few, as all early signs indicate. This grabbing and exploitation must be fought with full ferocity.

  7. Job,

    This is just wow! From where I sit, I can see someone already banging tables, smoking chain and spewing unprintable epithets!!

  8. claim by pacific wildcat

    http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/pacific-wildcat-resources-corp-initial-niobium-resource-estimate-mrima-hill-exceeds-tsx-venture-paw-1535787.htm

    jaindi’s response

    http://www.nation.co.ke/blogs/Balala-must-keep-mining-firms-on-their-toes/-/446696/1939316/-/view/asBlogPost/-/hvsosq/-/index.html

    and here Pacific Wildcat retract their initial statement

    http://www.pacificwildcat.com/_content/documents/514.pdf

    whereas i see that there is a lot of speculation, this does not change the main thrust of the argument that, balala is setting up a process by which favored groups will be granted sole mining rights at the expense of local communities whose lands have been grabbed. that is the ball we need to keep an eye on

  9. Job

    excellent expose/insight

    this is total disaster. its a new frontier and yet the Kenyatta’s have a headstart on this. I remember back in the 60’s/70’s there was yet another scandal where ruby mining was first as a result of some colonial acquisition but then promptly grabbed by margaret kenyatta and beth mugo, in a case that never saw the headlines but fizzled out on account of well connected individuals. i believe the said mzungu/partner was run out of town for good. i do remember some story floating out there, but no way to make it stick

    so this new mining is not going to be any different, its the same folks. stakes may have changed a little, a little shift in personnel but same mindset

    i dont think the CORD MPs have the verve or comprehension to carry this through

    this is something that has to be carried through the counties (governors and senators with militancy from the County Ward Reps ) This is what devolution is all about.

    Central government is about plunder, but devolution is about harnessing local resources.

    i think its time for each county to make a firm stand on its resources. grabbed land needs to revert back to its ancestral ownership and then start from there to figure out any genuine transactions and compensations

    but then we have lands in disarray, perfect for looters, its really up to the county governments to declare a firm stand on this. i wonder how many of them have the real knowledge of what is really before them.

  10. CORD MPs need to zero down to scrutinize the Mining Bill and protect the interest of the Kenyan public, including devolved units –which must secure environmental protection guarantees.

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