LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Some Malawi’s lawmakers in the ongoing budget Parliament session on Wednesday, May 19, 2021 demanded President Lazarus Chakwera’s Tonse administration to suspend all mining activities amid discontent.
Taking the floor Zomba Central’s Member of Parliament (MP) Bester Awali urged Tonse government to suspend all mining activities until the Mining Regulatory Authority is established.
Awali was responding to the State of the Nation of Address (SONA) which President Chakwera delivered last week.
The lawmaker expressed concern that some mining companies steal minerals by claiming that they are taking out samples for testing.
“All minerals that were taken out of the country as samples but were not brought back after failing tests should be considered sold and appropriate royalties be deposited in Government Accounts. We shall lose more money by letting the mining and extractive industry to do business as usual,” said Awali.
Echoing on the same, Chitipa South legislator Welani Chilenga called for more action in dealing with illegal mining activities happening across the country.
Chilenga expressed worry that in Chakwera’s SONA lacked any direction on the matter saying the President did not talk about curbing illegal mining.
“Malawi is losing close to MK20 million on daily basis through illegal mining taking place at Namizimu in Mangochi, Malingunde in Lilongwe, Vuwa in Nkhotakota and Perekezi in Mzimba,” said Chilenga.
The lawmaker however faulted the ministry of mining for failing to address illegal mining despite the Mines and Minerals Act of 2019 containing stiffer penalties against illegal mining.
Chilenga expressed surprise that the Ministry is now advising Chakwera to establish a Mining Regulatory Authority yet the same ministry rejected the inclusion of the authority in the Mines and Minerals Act.
He argued that even if the authority is formed, it will take many years for the authority to be effective in dealing with illegal mining.
Chakwera in the SONA said government will establish a Mining Regulatory Authority to bring sanity in the mining industry.
Malawi’s extractive industry including mining, forestry, gas and among others pose the country to boost GDP if utilized properly.