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Parliament tough on mining investors

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The Natural Resources and Climate Change Committee of Parliament has vowed to follow up on agreements the Central Government has made with mining firms.

Committee chairperson Werani Chilenga said the move was necessary to ensure that investors in the mining sector were not degrading the environment.

“We also want to ensure that mining ventures in the country are benefitting Malawians,” he said.

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Chilenga said committee members would prioritise areas where mining companies and community members are at loggerheads.

“We will visit sites in Mzimba District, Karonga District and Mangochi District, among others,” he said.

Natural Resources Justice Network Chairperson Kossam Munthali has welcomed the development.

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“We must be cautious, however. If the money they [committee members] will use is taxpayers’ money, we are okay with it.

“However, if the investors will sponsor the trips to the sites, we might be wasting our time because investors will make sure that they are covered,” Munthali said.

According to Malawi Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, mining contributes 0.6 percent to exports, 0.9 percent to gross domestic product, 1.1 to government revenue and 0.2 percent to employment.

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