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Kayelekera Mine never benefited Malawians —Peter Mutharika

President Peter Mutharika has said the Kayelekera Mine in Karonga which was owned by Paladin Africa, did not benefit Malawians.

Mutharika said this when he hosted his Botswana counterpart, Mokgweetsi Masisi, at Sanjika Palace Monday.

He said the Paladin-Malawi government mining contract was poorly drafted such that it put the country in a weak position.

“As I said in my State of the Nation Address in Parliament, we do not want any more Kayelekeras. What I meant was that Malawians did not benefit from the operations at Kayelekera. We looked at the contract and it didn’t benefit Malawians. We want mining sector to benefit people in the country,” he said.

During the meeting, Masisi said mining sector in his country has developed because of strict adherence to rules which govern the sector and pledged to help Malawi develop its mining sector to become key to the national economy.

“Everything gets down to governance. The entire sector is managed according to carefully drafted rules and that is important. Right now we have reached a point where 80 percent of mineral wealth belongs to government with the remaining 20 [percent] belonging to foreign investors,” he said.

He added that his country’s negotiating posture in mining has improved greatly right from exploration, extraction, processing and marketing of minerals adding that Malawi would benefit from their expertise.

Masisi also said the government of Botswana will help the country in livestock production, manufacturing veterinary supplies, education and tourism among others.

He asked ministers of Foreign Affairs of the two countries to expedite the Joint Partnership Cooperation Commission.

“Malawi and Botswana have been enjoying good relationship for a long time. We are committed to helping each other because if Malawi does well, Botswana has done well,” he said.

Masisi took oath of office on April 1 replacing Ian Khama.

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