NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 12 – Mining Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has unveiled a seven-member Task Force which will review mining licenses and agreements issued by the Mines and Geology Department from 2003 to date.
The Task Force, headed by lawyer Mohammed Nyaoga, will establish whether proper licensing procedures were followed while issuing companies with prospecting, exploration and mining licenses.
The other members include Caroline Armstrong, Ferhan Chaudhri, Erastus Lokaale, Elizabeth Cheptanui Rotich, Hassan Hussein and Nawaal Salim.
Forty three companies whose licenses were suspended pending review are now required to refer their cases to the Task Force for determination.
“Through the new law, we shall have a legal framework that protects companies, the government and the people of Kenya. I know we shall have challenges but we have to do the clean-up,” said Balala.
The Task Force will among other issues, review all the agreements and licenses relating to prospecting, exploration and mining issued between January 2013 and May 2013 with a view of ascertaining their legality and establishing whether due procedure was followed in their issuance.
It will also evaluate the status of all licenses issued between January 2003 and December 2012 with a view of determining whether they are dormant, operational or expired.
The team will later be required to make recommendations on the basis of the findings to the Cabinet Secretary on the way forward with regard to any license(s) found to be operational, but where licensing procedures were not complied with, dormant or expired.
The Task Force should also issue guidelines on the measures for developing processes and institutional capacity to effectively comply with licensing procedures and also gives clear modalities and processes of licensing which will ensure transparency.
Nyaoga assured the Cabinet Secretary that transparency and confidentiality will prevail, as they strive to deliver on their mandate within the stipulated time.