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Low knowledge on mining laws bothers committee

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By Watipaso Mzungu:

Natural Resource and Climate Change Services Committee of Parliament Chairperson Werani Chilenga has disclosed that the majority of members of Parliament (MPs) have limited knowledge on laws governing the mining and the extractive industry.

Chilenga made the remarks at Parliament Building on Wednesday when Perekezi ASM Consultants presented findings of a baseline survey the firm conducted recently.

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The study established a number of gaps in policy and legal frameworks that are hindering progress of the mining sector. It also noted the absence of stringent policy and legal framework, which is reportedly fuelling illegal mining and export of raw minerals.

Chilenga agreed with the findings, further stating that even lawmakers are ignorant about the laws governing the sector.

“Most of the MPs are new and they are not conversant with mining issues and they are also not conversant with the Minerals Act of 2019. Therefore, there is a need to have organisations such as Perekezi ASM Consultants to constantly engage and train them. Now it looks like we need more interactions with our stakeholder – Perekezi – because most of the members need to be oriented on the hotspots where illegal mining is taking place in Malawi,” he said.

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Perekezi ASM Consultants managing partner Elyvin Nkhonjera Chawinga said the overall goal of the project was to improve the oversight role among key stakeholders in the mining sector in Malawi.

Chawinga stated that legislators, including civil society leaders, government officials, and media, are key in ensuring transparency and accountability in the sector.

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