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HomeEnvironmentOxfam calls for probe in the Malawi oil deals

Oxfam calls for probe in the Malawi oil deals

Oxfam which is one of the organizations dealing with mine issues has on Monday called for an investigation into whether there was corruption in the issuing of petroleum licences or production sharing agreements (PSAs) between government and companies.

The organization said this through its report which it presented in Lilongwe.

According to the report, both, Joyce Banda and Peter Mutharika’s administration have some short falls especially on how they dealt with the oil issues.

“The president Joyce Banda’s administration rushed to sign deals with prospective oil exploration companies just eight days before the 2014 Tripartite Elections despite advice against the same.

On the other hand, the Peter Mutharika administration has continued to push the deals in secret without guiding policy and an enabling Act,” reads part of the report.

The Oxfam further calls for public disclosure of any payments made by companies holding petroleum licences or PSAs, including corporate social responsibility, to any organisation.

“We also calls on government to disclose the owners—“the natural persons who directly or indirectly ultimately own or control the corporate entity”— of mining and petroleum rights in Malawi as will be required by the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and the disclosure of the PSA signed with RAK Gas (Blocks 4 and 5) and with Pacific Oil (Block 6),” added the report.

The report which titled ‘Malawi’s Troubled Oil Sector, Licences, Contracts and their Implications’ details the time frame of how the contracts were signed, including some just a few days before Malawians voted for a new President in 2014.Speaking during the presentation of the report, Oxfam country director John Makina said his organization believe that a lot of mistakes occurred during the whole process.

Canada-based consultant and president of Resources for Development, Don Hubert, described this as unsual.

In his remarks, Charles Kaphwiyo who is the former director of mining in the Ministry of Natural Resources, revealed that some responsible senior government officials not consulted signing of the agreements.

However, Calsius Chibambo who is the coordinator of Petroleum Desk in the Ministry of Natural Resources said government is aware about the development.

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