People of Karonga and Chitipa districts have joined forces in asking their district councils to formulate by-laws that can make it easier for communities to collect revenue from mining companies ahead of the exploration of oil and gas on Lake Malawi expected to commence this month.
Karonga Forum for Oil and Gas Secretary General Wavisanga Silungwe told Nyasa Times in an interview that they had “already discussed the matter with the two councils [Chitipa and Karonga].”
Silungwe said that the oil and gas companies were welcome to the district only if they would comply with the bylaws.
“The by-laws on mine issues will allow us to collect yearly revenue from mine companies as it is done with other business operators. We want a certain percentage of money generated from the mines to go to our district councils,” said Silungwe.
Senior Group Village Headman Mwakhwawa of Karonga said they would “not allow” to be given a raw deal as was the case with the Paladin Africa Limited (PAL).
He commended Karonga Forum for Oil and Gas for “working for the community.”
The current constitutional provision bars communities to get a share of revenue collected from miners directly from the mining companies, but only through government subversion.
Karonga Forum for Oil and Gas, however, wants the provision re-thought.
President Peter Mutharika recently lifted a ban on the oil and gas exploration exercise on Lake Malawi which has been in place since 2015.
Mutharika suspended oil and gas exploration on the lake in 2014 because of allegations that the awarding of licenses to foreign companies was dubiously done.
The lifting of the ban will now allow oil and gas firms to start prospecting for the hydro-carbons.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :