BY Linah Musangi
Mwingi, 15TH FEBRUARY, 2018: A group of youths from Mui ward, Mwingi central sub county in Kitui county yesterday intercepted a lorry ferrying charcoal, offloaded it and set the bags ablaze.
The 100 bags of charcoal have been put on fire just few days after a lorry belonging to a businessman from Kiambu was torched at Kanyonyoo in Kitui while ferrying charcoal. This elicited a lot of uproar from Kiambu businessmen who have been protesting Governor Ngilu’s action terming it as one aimed at undermining a certain community doing business in Kitui.
Kitui County Governor Charity Kaluki Ngilu has been on a heated campaign to put illegal charcoal business in the county to a permanent halt. However, her efforts against illegal sand and charcoal business seems to take new twists everyday as residents continue taking the law on their hands.
Peter Muthengi the leader of the group of the youths coordinating the arrests said that local police officers seem to be colluding with business men to ruin the environment by condoning charcoal business against the peoples’ will.
Maliti Mengi , a youth from Mwingi Central said that youths in the area are in full support of governor Ngilu’s efforts to fight illegal charcoal business and sand harvesting and they won’t relent in the efforts to ensure that the business ceases.
Mr Mengi said that not even laxity by the police would undermine their efforts warning that they won’t allow any Lorry ferrying charcoal to pass by Mwingi town and that henceforth they would be offloading and burning the charcoal on the spot.
“Our governor declared burning of charcoal in Kitui illegal, from now onwards we will be offloading any lorry found transporting charcoal from our area and not even the police willstop us from burning the charcoal,” Warned Mr Mengi.
Governor Ngilu has been holding her ground that her fight on charcoal ban is aimed at protecting the ecosystem of the county and improving the environment by increasing tree cover in Kitui.