Over 500 miners were evicted from a disputed mine measuring 0.5 KM2 in Kasigau Ranch, Taita Taveta by police officers following a court order issued last month at the Voi law court. Lilian M. Gems had filed an appeal challenging the magistrate court’s jurisdiction to hear the dispute against Kasigau Ranching DA Co. Limited.
The fully armed officers flushed out the miners from the area after several hours. They destroyed the miners make camps and kiosks. One miner who was arrested was booked to be arraigned in court.
According to a Kenyan media, the court directed a gemstone dealer and 26 others, including their buying agents, to vacate the disputed mine.
The evicted miners said, that these mines (producing yellow tourmalines) were their only source of livelihood and that the government does not reserve their considerations. They were angered by the fact that their camps were destroyed at a time the area is receiving high rainfalls. “Some have gone to seek shelter from a neighboring mine”, said one miner.
In 2018, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) released a public inquiry report on mining activities in Taita Taveta which included; documented complains arising out of the mining activities in the county and the first issue highlighted was on land issues. Read here
Last month one of the pits in the mine claimed the lives of three people after part of the wall caved in as they were working.
Image: Standard digital