Malawi Congress Party (MCP) lawmaker for Kasungu East, Madaliso Kazombo has criticised mining contracts in the country for lacking transparency, saying its high time locals should have shares in the companies of the foreign investors.
His comments come at a time the country is debating ways of improving the mining sector to ensure it gets better deals from prospective mining investors.
“Why are mining deals done without any transparency? Our sons and daughters of Kayerekera, the people are not benefitting.
“We have the much talked Kanyika. In 2012, people were told to pack because mining was going to take place, but up to now, people in Kanyika in Mzimba are still in shambles. Why are these things happening? Why Malawians are not told the truth about our mining industry? Our friends in Botswana, who have mines, are doing fine,” said Kazombo.
He added: “Malawi has a lot of mines, the Kayerekera is there but Malawians are not benefitting from the resources of our land.”
Kazombo proposed that “Malawians should have shares in these [mining] companies.”
“We do not want foreigners to benefit from our own resources. We are sons and daughters of the land,” said Kazombo.
Recently African Development Bank (AfDB) Resident Representative Andrew Mwaba was quoted in the local press urging Malawi to formulate robust mining policies which would help the country generate enough revenue especially in the wake of withdrawal of budgetary support by donors.
Mwaba said it is inappropriate for mining investors to benefit more than the country they are getting the minerals from.
He said Malawi must “strike deals that are beneficial both for the investors and the people of the country.”
Principal secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Mining, Ben Botolo, concurred with Mwaba, saying: “Mining can transform the economy of the country if we can only stay focused.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :