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Mining mess bothers government, expert

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CHAKWERA—We need to bring sanity

President Lazarus Chakwera has expressed worries with the mining sector describing it as one with serious irregularities which need to be ironed out as a matter of urgency.

He said this during the commemoration of the World Environmental Day in Lilongwe on Monday.

Chakwera admitted that there are some people who acquire mining licenses from the backdoor and making millions of Kwacha while the country continues to be duped.

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He, however, said the government is moving with speed to establish stringent mechanisms that will bring sanity in the sector.

“Malawi Mining Investment Corporation (MMIC) needs to be implemented as fast as yesterday because we need to regularise these things so that we bring sanity in awarding of licenses because there are a lot of un-procedural dealings which are making the citizens in the country continue to be robbed,” Chakwera said.

Speaking in an interview, while admitting that the sector has problems, mining expert, Grain Malunga, said it is worth noting that there have been improvements in the sector in recent past.

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He mentioned the passing of Mines and Minerals Act and setting up of the Mines Commission which will help improve transparency in the sector.

He, however, said that government should be vigilant in making sure that Malawians are reaping the most of the minerals mined in the country.

“Government has shares in Paladin and Nyala Mines but it has not been active in looking at the management of these mines. So, the mining companies should be able to help local Malawians invest in the sector as partners or equity buyers which may help in establishing a middle class Malawians,” Malunga said.

The concerns in the awarding of licenses come amid corruption allegations which have emanated from a leaked voice clip in which a top official at the Mining Ministry is allegedly arranging an illegal renewal of a license with an international investor.

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