The construction workers at a former British military barracks in Kenya’s north are fighting back against the government’s plan to build a new coal mine in the area.
The Kigali government wants to build the coal mine and power station at Kakali in Kigaly region, but the construction workers have refused to sign the construction contracts until the coal mines are built and the power station is operational.
In protest, they have built a makeshift camp in Kakali and have set up campfires in front of the local police station, and in a statement they said they will continue to fight for their rights.
Kigalia’s President Mwai Kibaki announced that he would sign the contracts but said he had not given any guarantees of a contract.
“There is no guarantee of the construction work,” he said, adding that the contract is inked “without any knowledge of the workers.”
On Tuesday, the local government and the coal mining company, GPC, said they would give the workers a month to find a replacement camp.
But on Wednesday morning, a local journalist who is based in Kakalia told BBC World News that the police and the police station had not been informed of the campfire plans.
Local journalists who have worked at the camp said they had seen police and construction workers set up tents, set fires, and used rocks to barricade the camp.
The police and GPC did not respond to requests for comment.
Mwamba Mwango, a construction worker at Kakala, said: “We have to stay here and we have no choice.
We can’t do anything without our workers.”
Mwaka Mwanga, a spokesperson for the local Kigalian police department, told BBC News: “It was a mistake to have people camp in the village.
The police said they were unable to provide a response to the camp fire because they were still investigating. “
It’s not illegal, but we are not going to allow that.”
The police said they were unable to provide a response to the camp fire because they were still investigating.
The town’s police chief, Wai Mwenga, told the BBC that the campfires were illegal.
He said the government had not offered him any guarantee of a project, and he would not allow construction to take place until the authorities provide assurances that the site is safe for construction workers.
Local authorities have previously said they have been unable to find adequate security for the workers in Kakala.
“The campfire was set deliberately.
They are using it to cause trouble and damage the local environment,” said the local journalist, Wabana Tjibere.
Mwa Mwala, a community member who has lived in Kakila for more than 20 years, told local radio station Kenya Radio that the government has not been very forthcoming with the construction team, which has been living in the camp since June.
“People have been living here for years.
Local newspaper Kenya Radio said the workers had started campfires on Tuesday morning to protest the government and GBC. “
We want the government to stop the construction and let us live here, because we need this place for our livelihood,” Mwalla said.
Local newspaper Kenya Radio said the workers had started campfires on Tuesday morning to protest the government and GBC.
Mweke Mweki, the head of the coal company, said that the project was being built without permission from the local authorities.
“GBC was never given any guarantee.
We will fight for the rights of the people who live in the coal region,” he told the radio station.
The local newspaper, Kogali, said the coal project is being built despite a decision by the Kigala government to close a mine in neighboring South Kivu province.
The mine was due to be opened in 2018.
“These coal mines in Kakalike and the neighboring region of Kibali, are illegal and unsafe, and we demand that the Government of Kenya, through the Department of Environment and Climate Change, ensure that these coal mines, which are located in the Kibalis’ traditional area, are properly protected and operated in accordance with law,” the Kogalis’ paper said.
It added that the KIGALI government had been trying to convince the locals to move out of the area for years and that they had failed.
The mining company has also threatened to sue the local population.
“As we have been trying for years to negotiate with the people living in Kakalian’s traditional area and other areas around Kakaliki, GBC, and the Government in Kibalia, we were threatened by the local people to stop mining,” said Mweka.
“They have also tried to destroy our sacred sites by burning them down and destroying their sacred sites.”
On Monday, a police official told BBC Radio that there had been at least two instances of arson in Kakalis area in recent years.
Local officials said they did not believe there was any