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Women kept away from Mui Coal Basin matters

 Coal mining at the mineral-rich Mui Coal basin in Kitui County seems to have completely hit a snag with the national government remaining reluctant on giving any clear information on whether it might consider starting the coal mining project any time soon.


Mui Coal Basin women groups gather to discuss their sidelining from land demarcation and succession affairs. Land matters are dominated by men in the mineral-rich zone. Photo/BONIFACE MWANIKI

Coupled with international conventions and declaration against coal mining, many unresolved land issues might be a great hindrance to government efforts to start mining in the Mui Coal Basin.

Many complaints have been raised on how land demarcations were recently done in parts of Mui, Mutitu and Zombe areas within the coal basin with most parcels of land being said to have many inconsistencies like incorrect names and identification numbers as well as overlapping of land. Lack of women taking part in land issues is also a major concern among women of Mui.

Women in various blocks of the Mui Coal Basin have come together and formed various groups to fight for their rights. The women yesterday held a meeting at Mutito market in Kitui East Sub County to express their grievances pertaining land ownership and violation of women rights in the Mui Coal Basin.

Marrieta Kavithe who is a member of Yimuuma women empowerment group and who spoke during the meeting said that unless women in the Mui basin are included in land ownership alongside their husbands, they stand to be the biggest losers in case coal was to be mined.

Ms Marrieta also called for a repeat of the land demarcation exercise which was done at Mui and this time round ensure that women are included with their names appearing in the final title deeds alongside their husbands.

Penina Mwangangi another resident from Mutito Sub County said that land succession has proved near impossible for widows as the legal fees required are too high for any woman to afford.

She called for scrapping of the huge legal fees in order to regain ownership of their lands in case their husbands pass away.

Joseph Munyoki, a youth leader from Kitui East called for involvement of youths in land ownership and equal sharing of land between both female and male siblings, so as to ensure that girls aren’t disadvantaged in case resettlement would be done to pave the way for coal mining to take place.


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