The Natural Resources Justice Network (NRJN) has asked members of the Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and Climate Change to avoid ‘double dipping’ when visiting mining companies.
The network has also said the committee should avoid company-sponsored visits, saying sponsored visits compromise objectivity.
The request is coming at a time committee members are expected to visit mining sites in June this year.
NRJN Chairperson Kossam Munthali said they have information that some lawmakers claim fuel and allowances when they visit sites; and, yet, Parliament already covers such expenses.
“The tendency to double dip has the potential to make people lose trust in committee members, who are supposed to be exemplary.
“Double dipping must be discouraged because it is like being paid for something which one has not worked for. Double dipping reports have to be investigated,” he said.
Munthali said, as one way of promoting transparency and accountability, committee members should start informing Malawians if their trips are sponsored by companies and individuals.
However, committee chairperson Werani Chilenga has dismissed the allegations, saying committee members stick to professionalism.
“If we have been sponsored by Parliament, we do not pocket any money from companies we are visiting,” Chilenga said.
Some of the miners which have been earmarked for committee members’ visits are Kanyika Niobium in Mzimba, Lotus, formerly known as Paladin, in Karonga and Mchenga in Rumphi.