Gold mining activities have taken centre stage in some areas surrounding Tukombo Trading Centre in Nkhata Bay District, where people are selling the precious stone to both local and international buyers, Times Business has learnt.
The communities are using hoes and other sharp objects to dig the precious stone.
Tukombo Ward Councilor Acran Chenya alleged that some gold deposits have been discovered in the late Aleke Banda’s estate.
However, Chenya said the locals are being duped as they are selling to informal markets.
“It is true that people are mining gold at my ward and we hear that a large quantity of such gold has been discovered on the land of late Aleke Banda. So, we feel if there were proper procedures of how best such mining can benefit the locals, especially in the areas which are not under Banda’s land,” Chenya said.
He added that some officials from Nkhata Bay District Council visited the area and suggested the establishment of committees while waiting for legal procedures.
However, Nkhata Bay District Commissioner Peter Jimosole said he is not aware of the mining activities, adding that no formal communication has been reported to his office on the matter.
Equally, one of the Banda family members Mbumba Banda could not independently confirm the discovery of gold deposits in their estate.
Banda said what they know is that people have started flooding to a stretch along Dwangwa through Dwambadzi to Mzenga, where they are conducting mining activities.
Ministry of Mining Public Relations Officer Andrew Mkonda Banda said the ministry has received reports of the matter and that a team from the ministry has already been dispatched for investigations.
“We are working with the police and environmental officers from our regional officers at the site to find out if that is real gold or not. Therefore, we cannot confirm that it is gold unless we are done with our processes,” Banda said.
According to the Ministry of Mining, it is illegal to start mining activities without acquiring a license.