NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 8 – The Cabinet Secretary nominee in the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining John Munyes says mining laws need to be implemented as this will guide resource sharing between counties and the National Government.
Speaking during his vetting before the Committee on Appointments Thursday, Munyes stated that while in office, he will push for public participation in their regularization and insisted that local communities must be involved so as to benefit from the resources.
Munyes who is the former Turkana Senator stressed that he will work together with the host communities in the region where oil was discovered to ensure there is harmony.
“I have been nominated and appointed to this position to serve on behalf of the President who in turn wants to work with the people who elected him. So my interest is to serve Kenyans; to be patriotic to provide servant leadership and see how I can transform the petroleum and mining sectors in this country,” he said.
He further stated the need for a forensic audit to be conducted so as to know how much is being extracted so that there’s full disclosure, and the country can produce clean oil by 2021.
“There are donors in Australia and Canada interested in mining. People want to see how Kenya can benefit from the potential we have and they are waiting for this airborne survey. They are waiting for the data that will propel this country. It is not only donors. We have billionaires in this country… we have people who want to spend money. The moment we have scientific information and data that this anomaly could be copper, I will see so many people over there,” he pointed out.
He further said that he will act as a link between the government and communities in mineral rich areas as he takes up the role of the Petroleum and Mining Cabinet Secretary.
Munyes also explained that he will work on a raft of measures to ensure that the host community understands the prospects as well as organise good compensation for those who may be displaced.
He stated that he will also develop a framework to ensure that every sector benefits from the ministry as required by the law.
“I feel I am suitable because I have the Cabinet experience and for the new docket, petroleum was discovered in Turkana. I will play a key role in bridging conflict in increasing participation of the host communities because most of these minerals are often discovered in marginalized areas,” he said.
He emphasized that the country urgently requires mining laws which will guide among others resource between County Governments and the National Government.
“They are domiciled in those marginalized areas and we must find a way of bridging the two levels having the understanding of the host community and ensuring the national interest is taken on board. That is the role I want to play. I am excited, I want to start going, I want to start doing my job; I want to get out there to deliver for Kenyans,” he stated.
“We cannot have a country where Kenyans are using firewood. We must hasten the LPG issue. That will reduce the use of kerosene, which now costs less than diesel, providing an opportunity for adulteration of diesel,” he stated.