THE FENXI FRENZY: UNMASKING THE FACES OF MYSTERIOUS POWERFUL GHOSTS BEHIND MUI BASIN COAL MINING.

PART I

May 2018, Kitui.                                       By Kitui Newspaper Investigative Team

 

Kitui County is set to begin mining activities in the Mui Basin, as was made apparent by the governor Charity Ngilu and the Ministry of Mining CS John Munyes in the Mining Sector Stakeholders’ Meeting recently held in the county headquarters at KEFRI in Kitui Town.

Amid dissenting voices from the community and political leaders of the Mui Basin, there is no doubt that the government is ready and set to begin extraction activities for the vast deposits of the lignite and bitumous coal in the extensive deposits in Kitui East sub-county. However, there are questions nobody seems to bother asking anymore; not the governor, not the former Mutito MP Kiema Kilonzo; about who is truly licensed to carry out the exploitation process. Kitui Newspaper has dug deep into the universal media archives, and conducted extensive investigations to reveal who is the defacto miner of the Mui Basin coal, hiding behind the proxies of Fenxi and Great Lakes Corporation; the consortium that in August 2014 won a joint bid to extract the largest coal deposits in East Africa. This is an explosive expose of how powerful post-colonial families have seized the largest sources of national wealth, and turned them into family businesses, right from under our very noses. Let’s journey together from where it all started, during the Moi era, to date; as Kitui Newspaper unveils the hidden thumbprints in this intriguing Ballard of neo-colonialism, utter public deception, and the monarchy stains plastered all over the democracy banner of the Kenyan Republic.

The New Millennium, Exploration Craze, and A New Era Of Leadership

Year 2000 marked the beginning of the 21st century, a new millennium, and something the Kenyan government had never bothered to venture into since independence: massive mineral explorations. Exploration activities suddenly became key projects of the Ministry of energy during this period. Initial surface exploration activities in Kitui County were concentrated on the 500 square kilometers of the Mui basin, traversing the former Kitui and Mwingi districts of the lower Eastern Province. In 2002, the year that marked the end of the Moi era and the ushering in of a more “democratic” coalition government; mineral exploration projects moved to Taru Formations in Kwale and Kilifi counties in the Coast Province. Exploration reports from the Kitui county projects revealed that the Mui basin was sitting on trillions-worth of coal deposits.  Later on, a master plan prepared by the public policy think-tank, KIPPRA, proposed that the newly-discovered coal would inject over 3000 megawatts into the National electricity grind annually. And thus, the coal-frenzy began; with powerful post-colonial era and second-generation families stumbling against one another in a bid to control this new-found gold.

One Peculiar Company- Fenxi, One Overnight Millionaire Celebrity, and One Controversial Mining Concession.

Fenxi is a Chinese word that roughly translated to English means analysis. It is also the name of a county in Shanxi, China. However, the story of a mining company named Fenxi Mining Corporation is not as simple to narrate. First things first, there is no company listed in the official Chinese directory of mining companies under such name.The closest resemblance of this company is the Shanxi Fenxi Mining Industry Group Co. Ltd, which is a private company, and doesn’t carry out mining activities. As a matter of fact, this company only processes and distributes coal products, alongside electricity operations, repairing machinery and offering logistics. According to their official website: www.sxcc.com.cc, Shanxi Fenxi is currently involved in projects such as the coal power deployment for the Houzhou Coal Electricity Co., and 23 traction transformation projects for the Shanxi Coking Coal. Their physical address is: 95 Yuhua Road, Jiexiu,03200, China; and according to the customer representative on their phone: +863547191581, Shanxi Fenxi Mining Industry Group Co. Ltd. Neither owns any coal mines, nor involves itself in coal exploitation activities. They are just suppliers of coking coal, fat coals, lean coals, and any other coal products.

So, we pose the million dollar question: Who or what exactly is this corporation named Fenxi?

To understand Fenxi Mining Corporation, Kitui Newspaper couldn’t avoid the most prominent names popping up everywhere in this purported consortium: a Kenyan, Mr George Kariithi(hold on a bit to that surname); and two Chinese nationals, allegedly Kariithi’s friends; Mr. Li Yuxin and Mr. Yang Wusheng. There is nothing of interest in the two Chinese nationals, as they are just mere ‘nobodies’ in their circles; having once been involved in an already crumbled Chinese-Kenyan import business based in uptown Nairobi. It is George Kareithi, a pharmacist by profession, and a man shrouded in a cloak of mystery; that Kitui Newspaper sleuths dug into…and the details surrounding this man proved just too much to keep in a safe!

Apparently, Kariithi owns 30% stake in the Fenxi Mining Corporation, through the Great Lakes Corporation; a company which he is the majority shareholder; with other shareholders being Consolidated Securities Ltd, Fatma Holdings and Kei Kei Ltd.

In August 24th 2013, Kitui Newspaper sleuths have unearthed that the then Ministry of energy PS Patrick Nyoike, allegedly on instructions from the Minister, made a communication to Mr Kariithi that Fenxi Mining Corporation and Great Lakes Corporation had won a joint bid to extract coal from Kitui’s Mui Basin. Eleven multinational companies from South Africa, japan and China had been prequalified for the bid. According to an inner source from the ministry, the firms were to be vetted on an evaluation criteria that the firm offering the government the most in terms of shared revenue (so long as they exceeded a technical score of 70%) would win the bid. This was however not given priority in this case, leading to tough criticism and rebellion from the local leaders.

Controversy rode the aftermath of the concession award like a mad rodeo. The Kitui County Governor, then the Water Minister, and Mutito MP Kiema Kilonzo vowed to shoot down the tender in both the cabinet and parliament; claiming that the Chinese company Fenxi was a mere proxy that was awarded the bid irregularly by powerful individuals angling for a share.

So, really who is George Kariithi, who does he work for, and why is the governor and former MP now silent on this matter of Fenxi: what they so vehemently opposed in 2014, when the governor was just a powerless minister in a powerful government fighting for her people’s heritage?

Find out the real bosses of George Kariithi, his current financial woes, family ties with one of the most powerful post-colonial era families in Kenya; and the money-coated delegations that made our leaders sell the wealth of Kitui to post-colonial masters…. In Part II of the FENXI FRENZY: UNMASKING THE FACES OF THE MYSTERIOUS POWERFUL GHOSTS BEHIND MUI BASIN COAL MINING.

Follow http://www.kituinewspaper.com to catch up the next episodes of the FENXI FRENZY

High School Principal in Court Over Student Rape Charges

Thursday May 24, Kitui. By Yoana Kimwele

The principal Mosa Secondary School, Mr Samuel Matuvi Kimanzi, who was charged today for raping a female student at the Kitui Magistrates Court.

A school principal was arraigned in court today over the charge of raping a female form three student.

The middle aged man, who is the principal of Mosa Mixed Secondary School, was arraigned in court on charges of raping an 18 year-old form three girl, a student at this school, on 21st May 2018 at Mosa location,Kisasi Ward,in Kitui Rural Constituency.

The accused, Mr. Samuel Matuvi Kimanzi; who has been held in Mbitini Police cells sincr his arrest on Tuesday night, pleaded not guilty over the charge against him before the Kitui Chief Magistrate Marryane Murage.

Samuel was granted a bond of 200,000 with similar surety or an alternative cash bail of 50,000.

He will appear before this court on 6th June 2018 for mention and hearing on 22nd of September 2018.

THE 3RD LEGISLATIVE SUMMIT – MOMBASA COUNTY UPDATES

Thursday May 24, Kitui. By Boni Mutinda

Chuluni Ward Mca Hon Wangunze greets the Senate Majority leader Hon Kipchumba Murkomen during the ongoing 3rd Legislative Summit in Mombasa.

Chuluni MCA Hon James Mbuvi Wangunze is among MCAs and senators attending the 3rd Annual Legislative Summit at the Pride Inn Hotel in Mombasa county.

Speaking to the media earlier today on the sidelines of the ongoing forum, the MCA said that the summit would equip all participants with sufficient knowledge on important devolution and policy initiatives. He further hinted that the forum would achieve its aims of promoting positive engagements between the senate, county assemblies and other institutions relevant to devolution.

The Ward Equalisation Bill
The summit is a weeklong event jointly organized by the Senate and the County Assemblies Forum(CAF) annually.
The proposal to create a Ward Development Fund(envisaged to operate like CDF, thru the County Wards Devpt Equalisation Bill 2018) has largely featured in the forum.
The kitty with an estimated annual budget of Ksh. 24 billion, has created unease between the MCAs, senators, governors and the national govt.

Hon Wangunze believes the summit will provide a solution and a catalyst to the development agenda of counties and propel the realization of H.E Gov Ngilu’s 5-pillar manifesto forward!
He hailed our able Governor Mama Charity Ngilu for her exemplary leadership which would see Kitui county move to greater heights!

Gubernatorial Appeal Case
The MCA also called for immediate termination of the Appeal Case against the governor’s win in both the August polls and at the High Court’s case, filed by the former Kitui Governor Julius Malombe terming it a waste of time since the county moved on long time ago and Mama Ngilu was now totally focused on service delivery!
He advised the former county boss to embrace the spirit of the famous March 9th handshake of H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Rt. Hon Raila Odinga that bore the ongoing efforts dubbed “Building Bridges” for the sake of Mwananchi.

Last year, the summit discussed among other things, challenges and opportunities for strengthening effective and efficient law making processes.

Hon. Esther Ndile Calls For Further Legislation to address Rising GBV Cases.

Tuesday May 22, Mombasa. By Brian Peter

The Vice Chair CAF and member of Kitui County Assembly, Hon. Esther Ndile delivers her welcoming speech during the pre-summit opening ceremony for women legislators in Mombasa today.

The County Assemblies Forum Vice Chair, Hon. Ndile has echoed the need for further legislation to address the rising cases of Gender-based violence in the country.

In her speech today, for the pre-summit ceremony for women legislators, prior to the Third Annual Legislative Summit held in Mombasa County; Hon. Ndile challenged the women leaders on how vigilant they are when it comes to airing and articulating issues faced by Kenyan women; how many laws have been passed at the Senate and even County Assembly levels, and how responsive they are to the needs of the girl-child and women living in both the rural and urban set-up.

“We would be doing justice to ourselves if we appraise our performance track for the life of devolution that we have had. Are we doing justice to the electorates who have allowed us to represent them?” Hon. Ndile challenged fellow women leaders.

She expressed remorse in the fact that hardly a day goes by without cases of gender-based violence being aired in the media.

“Although the government has invested heavily in our legal systems, women still suffer appalling discrimination and violence. Not a day goes-by without cases of domestic Violence being aired in the media. A good number succumb to this vice and their children are left at the center of it,” lamented the forlorn Member of Kitui County Assembly.

Recent statistics in Kenya point out to the high rates of gender-based violence.
A survey from Wangu Kanja Foundation (2016) whose report was launched by Kenya Government and United Nations states that:
One third of Kenyan Girls are subjected to sexual violence.
It also notes that nearly one in three Kenyan girls experience sexual violence before the age of 18.
Three quarters of Kenyan children also experience physical, sexual and emotional violence before the age of 18.

“These are some of the issues we need to Legislate on because growth and development do not thrive in the face of violence. There is a huge task ahead of us, we need to fasten our belts and step up to our responsibilities but even as we do that let us incorporate our men in this journey to support us in every stage of our work,” Hon. Ndile advised.

Besides, she also pointed out that the Constitution of Kenya 2010 has entrenched pertinent provisions relating to the participation of women at the highest levels by recognizing that women need to be offered a fair-level playing ground when it comes to Political representation. And that women perceptions, concerns and opinions form an integral part in decision-making process at all levels of development. Opportunities have also been set aside for women in the award of tenders, in Education and employment.

“This has been made possible through the Affirmative Action Act that takes care of both genders in as far as ensuring that none of the gender is misrepresented,” she expounded.

Hon. Esther Ndile called upon the women all over the county to seize their moment , and the men to work together with the women in ensuring that the gender equality right contained in the SDG number 5 of the Vision 2030 is fully achieved.

“Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 talks about Gender equality makes it clear that Gender equality is a right. Fulfilling this right is the best chance for women to meet some of the most pressing challenges of the current time, from economic crisis and lack of health care, to climate change, violence against women and escalating conflicts as witnessed in our country and the world over,” stressed Hon. Ndile.

Also speaking in the event today were: Hon. Milka Wanjiru- the Chairperson Women Caucus; Hon. Johnson Osoi- the Chairperson County Assemblies Forum; and Rt. Hon Sen. Kennetg Lusaka, Speaker of the Senate. The guest speaker was H. E. Margaret Mensah-Williams, the Speaker Upper Chamber, Republic of Namibia.

The Third Annual Legislative Summit Programme, held at the Pride Inn Paradise Beach Resort, Mombasa; and which has been running from Sunday 20th through to Friday 25th May 2018; features a prime devolution debate on aligning legislation to the developing agenda.

FACT FILE:

NAME: Esther Kalunda Ndile

PROFESSION: consultant Psychologist

EDUCATION: bachelors in Counselling Psychology, I Masters in Health Psychology (all from the University of Nairobi), currently a PHD student.

CURRENT POSITION: member of the County Assembly of Kitui, Vice Chairperson County Assemblies Forum (CAF)

BIO: Hon.Esther Kalunda Ndile holds dearly in her heart issues to do with women empowerment and is a believer in strong family values; as she holds that any sustainable development originates from the household level.

Chuluni Mca Lauds KVA Environmental Summit Kitui County

Tuesday May 22, Kitui. By Victor Kyalo

The Chuluni Ward Mca hon. James Mbuvi Wangunze when he was taking the oath of office in 2017. |FILE PHOTO|

Chuluni MCA Hon James Mbuvi Wangunze has congratulated Kamba Visionaries Association (KVA) for their great efforts in environmental conservation in Ukambani.
Hon Wangunze said the noble activity being carried out by KVA(to which he is a member) would go a long way in safeguarding a serene environment and peaceful coexistence for the people of Ukambani region which has over the years been characterised by dry spells due to lack of sufficient annual rainfall.

KVA is an online whatsapp platform that was created by professionals from across the 3 Kamba counties of Kitui, Machakos & Makueni; and which has taken the front line in championing for a better Ukambani since its inception. KVA is however by all means non-political.

In his remarks, the MCA hailed KVA’s leadership of Chairman Hon Hillary Katee, Secretary Victor Mutua and Treasurer Dr Mwanzia Kasau(plus all members) for their selfless service which has distinguished the forum from the many others created for a myriad of reasons.

The legislator observed this even as KVA plans a mega Environmental Summit in Kitui town on Friday, 1st June 2018.
This follows KVA’s tree-planting exercise that took place last month in several areas in Kitui county which came up as a positive response to Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu’s ban on charcoal business.
During the exercise, thousands of seedlings were planted by volunteers including institutions that subscribe to the National clarion call on Environmental conservation.

Chuluni ward was among the major beneficiaries of the tree-planting exercise which had been mainly sponsored by Snr Chief Katee Foundation:- a brainchild of Hon Hillary Katee and other KVA environmentalists.
The drive triggered similar reactions from renown environmentalists Dr Isaac Kalua & John Kioli of Green Africa Foundation who also donated thousands of seedlings to the County Govt of Kitui for the sake of future generations’ well-being.

The MCA heaped praise on Her Excellency Mama Gov Charity Ngilu for swiftly taking up the challenge and leading in the tree-planting exercise in several other parts of our county.
Hon Wangunze further congratulated the County CEC for Environment Mr John Makau for his dedication to work in the ministry in which among other things provided for such sober environmental advice to the office of the Governor.

The local legislator observed that in doing so, both Gov Ngilu, KVA fraternity and the Green Africa Foundation provided a practical approach to problems bedevilling our county head on and vowed to always fully support such initiatives for a better Kitui.
Hon Wangunze reiterated the need to conserve our environment arguing that this would help bring about Gov Ngilu’s No. 1 item(food & water) in the 5-pillar manifesto into full realisation.

KVA members and partners will visit several beneficiaries to ascertain the progress of the trees donated during the April rain season and note down the practicability of the exercise for future engagements.

KVA calls upon all citizens to conserve the environment!

Good News to Ndengu Farmers, As County Secures 2000m tonnes Market

Monday May 21, Kitui. By Brian Peter

The Kitui County CECM for Agriculture Water and Livestock Emanuel Kisangau. The minister has expressed confidence the county government of Kitui will ensure that all the green grams produced this season will get a good market.

The county government of Kitui has sealed a deal that will see local ndengu farmers sell 200 metric tonnes of this season’s harvest.

According to the county Minister for Agriculture Emmanuel Kisangau, Capwell Industries, a local processor, has placed an order for 2000 metric tonnes of Pure Nylon variety of green grams.

“My ministry has already engaged farmers from all over the county to prepare their green grams produce for market,” disclosed Minister Kisangau in an exclusive interview with Kitui Newspaper today, “We shall set up and communicate common pick-up points for the ndengu produce within every sub-county.”

Other key agricultural and water projects already running in the county are: Water Pipeline extensions aimed at delivering water to the homesteads and villages in Mwingi North, Kitui South and Kitui East sub-counties; constructions of earthdams and sand dams across the county; and the delivery of 1060 water tanks to various secondary schools, ECDE centers and communal points in Kitui County.

“The county government, through my ministry, has already procured and distributed 120 improved modern bee hives in a drive to revive the bee-keeping industry,” said Mr. Kisangau. “We are targeting to supply over 500 such bee hives by August this year. ”

Minister Emanuel Kisangau expressed confidence that the county government has secured a ready market for bee products, with an assured market price of Ksh. 450 per kilo of honey.

Speaking on the matter of the annual agricultural show, Mr. Kisangau made it clear that his ministry wouldn’t be holding such event this year.

“Let us promote and improve local production first, so that what will be show-cased in the 2018-2019 Kitui Agricultural Show will be truly ‘the pride of Kitui,” he countered.

Mca Steps in To help a Deaf Elderly Storm Victim

Kitui, Wednesday May 16, By Brian Peter

Matinyani Ward MCA Hon. Sylvester Munyalo, populary known as Yaamu, poses for a photo alongside Mzee Syombali Kilutu and his family members when he paid them a surprise visit this afternoon. Mzee Syombali, who has hearing impairement escaped death by a whisker when his house was blown away by heavy storm winds yester evening.

An elderly man couldn’t hide his joy when a local MCA paid him a surprise visit at his home this afternoon.

The 82 year-old;whose house was blown away by the storm winds at Kalia-Katheuni village ,Matinyani Ward in Kitui West constituency; was all grin, when the Matinyani MCA Hon. Sylvester Munyalo (populary known as Yaamu) showed up his homestead ladden with blankets, bundles of maize flour and cartons of cooking oil, all courtesy of the County Government of Kitui.

The house of Syombali Kilutu, who surfers from hearing imparment, was blown away by veracious winds during a rainy storm which hit the area yesterday. He was rescued by good samaritans and neighbours who rushed to his house after hearing raspy rumbling sounds in the compound during the furious storm which hit most areas of Kitui Central and Kitui West yesternight.

This visit was also graced by Carolina Kalimati, the assistant director of customer relations in the office of the governor, who assessed the damages and promised the victim’s family members that the Kitui County Government will soon renovate his house.

This comes at a time when the Kitui County Governor Charity Ngilu, alongside her Makueni counterpart Kivutha Kibwana, are liasing with the National Government to procure humanitarian aid and compensation for the victims of the heavy rains in their counties.

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