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Mining demonstration on Wednesday

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All is set for Wednesday’s demonstration aimed at pushing the government and Parliament to pass the Mines and Minerals Bill, organisers of the match have disclosed.

Members of the public and stakeholders in the mining industry are tomorrow expected to match from Area 18 Roundabout in Lilongwe to the Parliament Building where they will deliver a petition of their grievances, especially delays in passing the bill.

A representative of the Natural Resources Justice Network Mphatso Mapemba decried government’s actions in continuing to advance mining operations when the country has no sound legislation guiding the sector.

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“We will continue to pressurise the government and parliamentarians to establish legislation in mines, minerals and petroleum exploration in Malawi,” Mapemba said.

He observed that Malawi has in the past five years been active in mining activities in the absence of sound legislation which aggravates the plight of Malawians living in areas where such activities are taking place.

“This bill is going to give the public necessary information but also empower communities where mining is taking place in order for them to understand mining governance and to have their rights protected,” Mapemba added.

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Currently, Malawi uses the Mining and Minerals Act of 1981 which stakeholders in the industry have described as archaic and lacking in addressing the current situation in the mining industry.

Government critics have emphasised that the sector is one of the country’s cash cows with the country yet to register significant returns from the sector.

In his State of the Nation Address early this month, President Peter Mutharika included the mining sector among those that have the potential to transform the country’s economic fortunes.

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