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Former UDA chairman Johnson Muthama threatens to drag government to court

Muthama who made his fortune in minerals is a key player in the sector and serves as the director of Rockland Kenya Limited

Johnson Muthama

Former Machakos Senator who also served as UDA Chairman Johnson Muthama has threatened to drag President William Ruto’s government to court to challenge a proposed royalty charges on minerals by the Ministry of Mining and Blue Economy.

Muthama made the revelations at a hotel in Mombasa while presenting his views on the draft regulations under the Mining Act 2016.

The former UDA chairman who is a d stakeholder in the mining industry lamented that over the years, the government has been mistreating minors and slapping them with heavy taxes, something that he wants to end.

“If the government introduces unfair royalties, I will challenge it in court but if it’s fair, we will support the government,” Muthama noted.

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While the ministry has proposed a six per cent royalty, Muthama has maintained that it should not go beyond three per cent.

“I propose that royalty should not exceed three per cent and it should be charged at the export point.

“The mining sector is one of the areas which gives the country revenues but our laws are upside down discouraging investors. And the few people who are investing in mines are not being taken care of by the government and that is why I am asking the government to ensure that the way they look after farmers, miners have to be treated the same.” Muthama explained.

The former Machakos senator who made his fortune in minerals and serves as the director of Rockland Kenya Limited decried the state of mining in Kenya, calling for reforms.

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“Most miners are in this business but they have not been given experts while our geologists are languishing in poverty.” He added.

Most recently, Muthama won a case in court after High Court judge Hedwig Ong’udi declared Section 183 of the Mining Act 2016 popularly referred to as the Mining (Prescription of Royalties on Minerals) Regulations 2023 unconstitutional.

In the ruling, the court agreed with Muthama’s company, Rockland Kenya Limited that the Mining (Prescription of Royalties on Minerals) Regulations 2023 were not subjected to public participation as dictated in Section 5(2) and (3) of the Statutory Instruments Act.

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