Deputy President William Ruto has called for transparency and accountability in the mining sector to avert misinformation that may lead to disputes with communities in which these minerals are found.
The Deputy President said the mineral wealth of Kenya belongs to the people of Kenya and must be used to enrich the people.
Mr Ruto said the Mining Act clears the dispute on revenue sharing clearly stating that 10 per cent of the proceeds will go to the communities minerals are found.
He said: “As owners of the property, they should be able to tell who, at a glance, is using it and where and how it makes them richer. If we don’t make that information publicly available, then Kenyans will be unforgiving, and we will face the same problems that have long bedevilled our friends elsewhere on the continent.”
Speaking during the Kenya Mining Forum that brought together key stakeholders in the mining sector, Mr Ruto said the Government has established a royalty-sharing scheme in the ratio 70:20:10 between the national government, the county government, and the communities in which these minerals are found.
The Deputy President said there was need to have more conversations about increased growth, transformation and more investment in the mining sector.
He said the country’s mineral resources must be used economically so that the profits can also benefit the future generation.
Mr Ruto said: “We could share these riches among ourselves, and leave nothing for our children. Would we have done right? I say, No!”
He cited countries like Norway who have an endowment fund from their oil proceedings and Ghana who invest royalties from their petroleum industry.
The Deputy President said the at least 1% of the firms’ revenues will be spent in the community where the mining occurs under the Community Development Agreements to be signed between the communities and the mining firms concerned.
The DP added that whatever plans that have been put in place to replicate the mineral profits, Kenyans have the final say on what to do, since they are the owners.
The Deputy President asked the relevant stakeholders to put some of their strategies into tangible plans as the mining sector has a huge growth potential; hence making it a stand-alone Ministry in 2013.
The DP said: “The Mining Sector is one of the pillars that we believe has the power to define the future of this country. This is why we set up a standalone ministry in 2013 and the achievements of this sector and ministry have completely vindicated that decision
Cabinet Secretary Dan Kazungu said lauded President Uhuru Kenyatta for recognizing the Mining sector as an important economic pillar in the country.