Kenya has accused five Chinese of mining in Migori without a licence. Yao Youming, Edion Lion, Wangizi Ling, Shun Ming and Wang Yang were detained bail by Milimani senior principal magistrate Benard Ochoi after they refused to produce their documents to the investigating officer for verification.
The charge sheet says that on January 26 this year at Arundo area of Rongo in Migori county, the five were found engaging in mining activities without a valid licence or permit. Others not before the court were also charged. They are charged with engaging in mining business without being authorised to do so by a permit from Rio-Kavirondo Ltd.
They face a further charge of being in Kenya unlawfully. All five denied the charges and were detained at Industrial Area remand. The investigating officer told the court that the accused persons refused to identify themselves and he suspected the names they gave were not their real names. They will remain in custody pending their bail application.
To curb such incidents, the government of Kenya through the Department of Mines and Geology has also launched a crackdown on illegal mines in the Nyanza Region to avert loss of lives occasioned by the uncontrolled activities. Nyanza Regional Mining Officer Ben Bera said illegal mining was rampant in the area.
Ben Bera noted that a number of illegal mines have been closed in the region adding that a team of mining officers was on the ground to trace more sites operating illegally. Most of the illegal sites, he said, engaged in gold mining, limestone mining, basalt and phonolite mining spread across the Nyanza Region.
“Majority of the sites are not licensed and therefore do not comply with the safety procedures and requirements thus posing a risk to the miners,” he said.