Muthama threatens to sue over proposed royalty charges on minerals

By , K24 Digital
On Sun, 17 Sep, 2023 09:36 | 2 mins read
Former Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama
Former Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama. PHOTO/Courtesy

Former Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama has threatened to go to court to challenge royalty charges on minerals proposed by the Ministry of Mining and Blue Economy.

Speaking at a hotel in Mombasa during a public participation on the draft regulations under the Mining Act 2016, Muthama who is a key stakeholder in the mining sector said over the years, the government has mistreated the miners while imposing heavy taxes on them.

“If the government introduces unfair royalties, I will challenge it in court but if it’s fair, we will support the government,” Muthama, who is also a director of Rockland Kenya Limited, said.

This will not be the first Muthama moves to court because, in May, he won a case against Section 183 of the Mining Act 2016 popularly referred to as the Mining (Prescription of Royalties on Minerals) Regulations 2023 which High Court judge Hedwig Ong’udi declared unconstitutional.

The High Court agreed with Rockland Kenya Limited that the Mining (Prescription of Royalties on Minerals) Regulations 2023 were not subjected to public participation in line with Section 5(2) and (3) of the Statutory Instruments Act.

Muthama, who is now a Commissioner with the Parliamentary Service Commission in an affidavit pointed out that the regulations came into effect vide Legal Notice No.187 of 2013 on August 16, 2013, while the Statutory Instruments Act came into effect on January 25, 2013, meaning that that the rules should have been subject to the public participation requirements of the Statutory Instruments Act.

With the Ministry now proposing a six per cent royalty, Muthama has rejected the proposal saying 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. Lastly, miners should be given 120 per cent for royalty payment,” he said.

He has also called upon the government to come up with a framework which will empower miners arguing that for years they have been ignored despite contributing to the economy overwhelmingly.

“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.

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

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