Muluzi backs Karonga concerns against Paladin: ‘Malawi govt is for the people’

Malawi Minister of Natural Resource Energy and Mines Atupele Muluzi has leapt to the defence local non-government organisations (NGOs) and individuals in Karonga for bravely demanding that there is strict adhearance of health and safety to the people of the district by uranium miner Paladin.

Muluzi accompanied by Kyungu reading one of the banners by the locals against Paladin.-Photo by Tiwonge Kumwenda, Nyasa Times

Muluzi accompanied by Kyungu reading one of the banners by the locals against Paladin.-Photo by Tiwonge Kumwenda, Nyasa Times

Muluzi at Paladin during the visit.-Photo by Tiwonge Kumwenda, Nyasa Times

Muluzi at Paladin during the visit.-Photo by Tiwonge Kumwenda, Nyasa Times

Paladin pipe going to sere river

Paladin pipe going to sere river

Muluzi in a group photo with Malcoal officials. -Photo by Tiwonge Kumwenda, Nyasa Times

Muluzi in a group photo with Malcoal officials. -Photo by Tiwonge Kumwenda, Nyasa Times

Muluzi visiting the mine sITE.- Photo by Tiwonge Kumwenda, Nyasa Times

Muluzi visiting the mine sITE.- Photo by Tiwonge Kumwenda, Nyasa Times

Speaking during the interface meeting with the locals at Meghemo hall in Karonga northern district on Thursday evening, Muluzi conceded that the situation at Paladin’s Kayerekela mine project is “worrying.”

He said government need to intervene and also called for international investigation into the project over claims that Paladin’s mine has become a threat to the people’s life.

“Government is for the people and it take the welfare of Malawians as the first priority, now in answering to your question especially on the current status of things at Kayelekera mine, the truth is that things are not in good condition and as am talking tomorrow I will call for an emergency meeting with top concerned officials in various departments to find a way forward on dealing with the problems at the Company,” said Muluzi during the town hall meeting.

” Government’s job is to address the situation and to protect the interests of Malawians,” he added.

Muluzi  gave Paladin a 10-day ultimatum to submit a comprehensive report detailing how the tank containing lime and sand sediments burst to its seams due to the storm.

“Investigations must continue. There were mistakes that were made and we must learn from them to avoid a repeat of what has happened. We must get to the bottom of this,” Muluzi said.

He said government will ensure its people are protected and t it takes claims that the Kayelekera mine has begun discharging waste materials into the local river system, seriously and investigations are underway.

“We will fast track the investigations and results will be known to the public. We will make sure that Paladin Company takes full responsibility if anything goes wrong in Karonga,” said Muluzi.

He added: “It is also sad that people are being denied the access to see for themselves the status of things at the company despite being in their own land.

“Next month we are signing the deal with all mining companies that there should be transparency in all mining premises so that everyone should be able to verify, on top of that all the secretive agreements will be made open to the public because those documents are for the people.”

Muluzi stressed that government is committed towards “eliminating the veil of secrecy which overshadows the mining sector .”

He said: “We are striving for greater transparency in the sector even before we sign up to the Extractive Industry Transparency International next month.”

Paladin denied it discharged polluted water into a river, the company said local non-government organisations and individuals openly hostile to the company had made false statements.

The Malawi general manager for Paladin,  Greg Walker said the company has done necessary tests and put in place measures to contain the leakage.

The company explained that while it did plan to commence the controlled release of surplus water into the local river system during the monsoonal wet season, the water would be treated to meet Malawi and internationally recognised discharge standards, including World Health Organisation drinking water guidelines for uranium content.

However Paladin said that relatively light and infrequent rainfall meant no water has been treated and released to date.

Parliamentary deputy chairperson of Natural Resource and Climate Change Committee Alex Major expressed his displeasure y with the current situation at the company and that he will take the matter to Parliament.

“I am also very shocked with the situation I have seen after monitoring the mine here and all my questions to the Paladin boss have not been answered satisfactory , “ said Major.

Major said claims about toxic water being discharged into the river have basis.

Kayelekera mine has been in care and maintenance since February 2014 .

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43 thoughts on “Muluzi backs Karonga concerns against Paladin: ‘Malawi govt is for the people’”

  1. Chisomo says:

    Reading through some of the comments makes me really wonder if some people have brains at all.
    This is a serious matter affecting everyone in the country, from the North, South, East or West.
    The truth of the matter is that Uranium is radio active , it be in small quanties or not.
    In the late 60’s there were a lot of people living in that same area dyeing of illnesses that were supposedly associated with witchcraft, babies being born with deformities.
    The government then did some tests and it was found that it was uranium and measures where put in place not to mine there.
    I remember meeting a priest who was stationed up in Karonga who narrated terrible stories of death of people in that area due to the mining, but the government officials never listened. This was just before Paladin started mining.
    Now back to the matter, the Dpp government is the same government that initiated the mining of uranium , its very late to cry wolf.As these are the same people that created the mess , let them clean up the mess.At the end of the day we are all Malawians, regardless of what party colour we wear.We all eat fish from the Lake don’t we?The sad thing is that one cant tell by looking at fish if its radio active or not whether it came from the north or south.This should be a lesson to those in power for late ventures

  2. patrick kaluwa says:

    koma amuluzi chonde kukasala chika kuti tivote tisazamve kuti mwachoka uku kumanena kuti dpp sichipani mludyeleratu panopa

  3. chinkombaleza gumanyundo gowa says:

    Atupele dont talk politics talk scientific facts about paladin and the leakage. YOU MAY BE GIVING FALSE IMPRESSION TO THE PEOPLE. YOU TELL THEM THE TRUTH ABOUT THE SITUATION THAT YOU SAW. wHERE IS KANGANKUNDE MINE YOU WERE ESTABLISHING WITH YOUR FATHER AND OTHERS OF ASIAN MALAWIAN ORIGIN? THE FACT IS KARONGA PEOPLE ARE FEARING NOTHING.

  4. Bwampini wa Muthanyura says:

    Meanwhile fish continue to die in the northern part of Lake Malawi.

  5. CAPE FLATS says:

    DEM OFF……ASATIONENGERE DZIKO AWA ….MATAFALE ANAIMBA NGATI KKKK

  6. Kikikiki says:

    Primarily, Paladin is responsible for any Radiactive spills because of its gross negligence and reckless conduct which is a huge health threat to the public and environmental associates.
    ~would think Cost-cutting decisions have caused this marine and environmental catastrophic. One could only believe Insufficient Safety System in place. Absent significant reform from both Paladin Investors and Government policies. A very big blind eye!
    ~Even low-level radiation exposure if prolonged can lead to an increased rate of Cancers. This is seriously healthy threats to the general public and environment. As a result, criminal offenses based on the consequences from lethal uranium radiation need immediate International Institutionalised Investigations
    ~ Paladin is responsible to this pollution environment consequences
    ~Paladin is guilty of lying to the indigenous Karonga people and all citizenry.
    ~ Government need to engage qualified scientists and professionals whom have been Tested and Tried to carry out investigations to an international standards.
    *US Environmental Protection Agency
    *WaterLab Ltd
    *International Atomic Energy Agency
    However, I’m not sure with our constitution if Clean Water Act bill exists. If it was in the western world legal proceedings would follow with heft compensation of billions of dollars or pound sterling. Mwabanthu vinkhonono ghaye. God bless Malawi.

  7. osiah Shora says:

    Why saying ZANU INU A TUMBUKA his is just to find a solution not insulting one another let LOVE prevail in the country of Malawi as one nation

  8. Salary harmonization says:

    John Bande used to blindly back Paladin for selfish reasons. Look now at the young and visionary Muluzi. Excellent Atupele Muluzi

  9. GOVERNOR Frank says:

    just busy for nothing we dont want to be quite

  10. KING SOLOMONS PALACE says:

    MY QUESTION-WAS ATUPELE MULUZI ACOMPANIED BY RELEVANT RADIATION TESTING/ENVIRONMENTAL EXPARTS?DID ATUPELE AND TEAM TAKE ANY SAMPLES FISH DEAD OR ALIVE?ANY REPRESENTATIVE FROM BEAURAL OF STANDARDS?HAVE THE PEOPLE DOWNSTREAM BEEN TESTED FOR POSSIBLE EXPOSURE?THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE DONE URGENTLY OR ELSE ATUPELES VISIT ENDS UP TO BE MERE POLITICAL MILAGE.WE MALAWIANS DEMAND FROM OUR MINISTER TOXICOLOGICAL TESTS IMMEDIATELY AND NOT MERE TALK.HAPPY NEW YR MR MINISTER THE SCIENCTIFIC COMMUNITY THE WORLD OVER HAS PUT MALAWI IN THE SPORTLIGHT- WATCHING HOW U MINISTER R HANDLIN THIS MATTER.IF U POLITICISE IT MR MULUZI ,THE NUCLEAR WASTE ITSELF WILL JUDGE U AND THE WHOLE WORLD WILL LAUGH AT U.MINISTER MULUZI JUST KNOW THAT HISTORY OF KAYELEKERA MINE IS BEING WRITTEN .STAKE HOLDERS-ie,MINING MINISTER- ATUPELEMULUZI;CHIEF-KYUNGU AND COMMUNITY;THE CSOs AND FINALLY THE DPP GOVT WILL ALL BE JUDGED BY THE CURRENT AND FUTURE GENERATIONS DEPENDING ON ACTIONS ;IF U OFFERLIP SERVICE THE TRUTH WILL OUT. SO BE OBJECTIVE .HAPPYLHM

  11. Mtimbusha says:

    Zanu izo atumbuka inu

  12. pierra says:

    This is a very sloppy operation bordering on negligence and total disregard to protocol. I see Hon Muluzi in a safety Hi-Viz jacket but no hard hat; looking at Paladin boss with no Hi-Viz jacket, no hard hat and looking like he waqs just round up from a local bottle store. This is typical of Aussie laissez fairre business attitude.

    I wonder if the minister was indeed accompanied by expert technicians to sample soil, water, surrounding vegetationget to the botton of this spill. Malawi has a custodian corporate social responsibility to keep the lake and all surrounding catchment vibrant and free of contaminants. It will be similarly interesting to hear the budgetary allocation Paladin has for clean up. The officials should also ensure they test all local people living along the river who depend on it for food and water. Iron out what Paladin compensation package is and brief the chiefs on this.

  13. Blessings says:

    Well….done nice spch if what u said is what u gonna do…jazakul Allah

  14. Vyachalo says:

    Atupele, you are brave enough.Thats what we want.

  15. Du says:

    We as Karonga people will fight on until God calls all of us home!

  16. osaweta jj says:

    azipitadi agalu amenewa ayambanso kutiphera nsomba zathu iiiyyyaaaaa

  17. Southner says:

    Well said Mr Minister, Government is for the pipo so you must tell Paladin to go because they don’t take the pipos welfare seriously,they must live us alone.

  18. SOLOMONIC WISDOM says:

    THANKX GO TO CHIEF KYUNGU AND ALL THE ENLGHTEND CONCERND PEOPLE OF KARONGA.BUT THIS IS ENOUGH EVIDENCE DAT THESE PPLE WE CALL LEADERS IN GOVERNMENTS MINING MINISTRY HAVE LET US DOWN .THE MINISTERS OF MINES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN THERE,IT IS NOW THE VILLAGER IN KARONGA WHO IS SPOONFEEDING THE MINISTER.WHAT A PITY. OUR MINISTERS SEEM TO BE MORE CONCERNED ABOUT THEIR BELLY AND POCKET .PLS WAKE UP MINISTERS.BRAVO TO CHIEF KYUNGU AND OF COURSE OUR HARDWORKIN CSOs .BUT AGAIN NOT EVERYONE CAN BE GIVEN ACCES TO MINE TO INSPECT AS MULUZI SUGGESTS.MULUZI MUST NOT TALK SILLY POLITICS HERE.BUT VILLAGE REPRESENTATIVES YES MUST BE GIVEN ACCESS. IN FUTURE LET US HAVE A SCIENTIST FOR THE MINES MINISTER NOT AN ARTIST.

  19. kadamanja says:

    Atupele kumeneko ndiye kuti kuganizila anthu ako Bravo Atupele bravoo! Walker must go, son of the bitch who doesnt care about black people.

  20. Please do something to protect water resources due of kayelekera

  21. Dr. Godfrey Mvuma says:

    Now you are talking, Honourable Minister. This is long overdue, you should intervened when people began crying. Please ensure that the company exercises to the fullest, the Health and Safety measures because radioactive waste pollution impacts are very catastrophic.

    Another piece of advice is that you should not engage Caucasian Investigators from Australia or UK since Malawians are obsessed by these nationalities. They will collude and not give you the right picture of the prevailing situation. Be extremely judicious on choosing the investigators. However, it is a job well done Hon. Minister and it is a step in the right direction. Delighted Malawian.

  22. KING SOLOMONS PALACE says:

    IF THE FINDINGS SHOW THAT THERE INDEED WAS DELIBERATE DISCHARGE AS THE CASE MAY BE .PLEASE TAKE THIS COMPANY TO COURT .IT IS NOT ONLY A BREACH OF RULES BUT A CRIMINAL OFFENCE.IF U GOOGLE URANIUM WASTE DISCHARGE SCANDLES, U WILL KNOW WHAT AM SAYIN.THIS COULD BE DELIBERATE MISCONDUCT OF THE WORST ORDER.I REPEAT WORST ORDER,I REPEAT AGAIN WORST ORDER.HAPPY LHM.

  23. ENUKWENI says:

    WE CAN SEE THE REASON WHY KAYELEKERA PEOPLE WERE DENYING THE ACCESS OF THE PEOPLE. IF YOUR HANDS ARE CLEAN WHY NOT LET ALL CONCERNED PEOPLE SEE FOR THEMSELVES. IF THEY DO THAT AND SEE THINGS ARE OK, THEN ALL THE STORIES WILL END. THE PROBLEM IS THAT THE PEOPLE ARE DENIED THE ACCESS. IF PEOPLE IN AUTHORITY, WHO SPEAK FOR THE VOICE LESS ARE DENIED ACCESS, WHAT ABOUT PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITIES WHO NOT HAVE A VOICE. MALAWIANS LETS WORK UP. I ALSO HAVE CONCERN TO THE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS IN THE DISTRICT WHO ARE WENT THERE SECRETELY AND VERIFY THAT THINGS ARE OK. NOW THE MINISTER IS SAYING THINGS ARE NOT FINE. MY QUESTION IS, WHY ARE YOU AT THE DISTRICT, MUKUTANI KUNO? YOU NEED TO BE TRANSFERED FORTH WITH. MUMAFUNA MPAKA MINISTER ABWERE AZAPANGE VERIFY? ITS UNFORTUNATE. IN THE SAME VAIN, YOU ALSO DRINK THE SAME WATER. IF GOVERNEMNT MASHINERY WORKS LIKE OTHER NGOS IN MALAWI , THEN MALAWI WOULD HAVE DEVELOPED.BRAVO CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATION IN KARONGA. WHEN KAYEREKERA WAS STARTING , IT WAS THE SAME CIVIL SOCEITY ORGANISATION WHO WERE ASKING FOR TRANSPARENCY AND ALSO FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION. BUT OTHER GOVERNMENT OFFICERS AND FEW INDIVIDUALS AFTER EATING BREAK THEY SAID KAYEREKERA SHOULD START EVEN WITHOUT TECHNICAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT. TO MAKE THINGS WORSE, NOT EVEN THE DC,MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT HAVE ACCESS TO THE AGREEMENTS ( KAYEREKERA AND GOVERNMENT). NOW YOU CAN SEE THE IMPORTANCE OF CIVIL SOCEITY ORGANISATIONS. I AM ABIT CONCERNED WITH FEW INDIVIDUALS WHO WANT TO KILL MALAWIANS BECAUSE THEY WANT TO HAVE BREAD IN THEIR MOUTHS AND A,LSO BUILD THE HOTELS IN PORTUGAL AND IN SOUTH AFRICA AT THE EXPENCE OF POOR MALAWIANS. TIKALIRIRA KUTI IFE A MALAWI. UKU MISONKHO, TIPITE UKU ENA AKUTIPHA NDI KAYEREKERA. GOD HAVE MERCY.

  24. Sagwa says:

    Endangered species ,,,,,, koma topic imeyi sindimayimvesabe mpaka lero

  25. KING SOLOMONS PIECE says:

    WHAT WE MALAWIANS WANT IS AN IMMEDIATE TEST OF THE SAMPLES -FISH DEAD/ALIVE,WATER IN THE SUSPECTED AREAS.MULUZI AS MINISTER RESPONSIBLE MUST ACT RESPONSIBLY AND NOT OFFER LIP SERVICE . I REPEAT WE WANT AN IMMEDIATE TOXICOLOGICAL REPORT ON THE SURROUNDING ENVIRONMENT FISH DEAD/ALIVE etc.WE DO NOT WANT THE -WE R INVESTIGATING,WE R INVESTIGATING,WE R INVESTIGATING song.THIS IS VERY SERIOUS MATTER.I PERSONALLY FAULT THE DPP GOVT THAT HAD SIGNED SECRETIIVE CONTRACT-SECRET CONTRACT ON URANIUM MINE?URANIUM IS NOT LIKE COAL OR COPPER,IT IS DEADLY.THERE MUST HAV BEEN A GOVERNMENT ENVIRONTAL BODY MONITORING THROUGHOUT THE LIFESPAN OF THE MINE.WHAT THE MINISTRY IS DOIN NOW IS WHAT WE CALL FIREFIGHTIN. BY THE WAY,DO MALAWIANS AT LARGE KNOW THAT ONE OF THE GREATEST NUCLEAR ENERGY SCIENTISTS WAS MALAWIAN?MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE.HE WAS NEVER CONSULTED,I PRESUM. EACH STAKEHOLDER IN THIS MATTER ESPECIALLY GOVT AND RESPONSIBLE OFFICIALS SHALL BE HAUNTED IF THEY ACT BADLY.HAPPYLHM

  26. Ameneyo ndi Atupele Muluzi he has the best interest of Kalonga people at heart
    He accepted the position to serve people of Malawi not to enrich himself
    Continue with good work honorable Muluzi,one day people of Malawi will realize the relevance of AGENDA FOR CHANGE
    Atupele Woyeeeeee
    2019 Bomaaaaaaaaaa!!!

  27. Mtupatupa says:

    Make sure when they treat their poluted water before they start flowing into our river, Greg Walker should be drinking first, then we can knw that its indeed treated. Mr Mine Minister, if you say gvt must do something, what do you mean? I hope you did not forget your position in gvt. What strategy as energy and mining minister have you put in place to solve this problem now and in future as a ministry?

  28. mbuya says:

    SHAAAAAA…..THIS IS WHERE I MISS KAMUZU BIG TIME! THESE PALADIN PEOPLE WOULD HAVE LONG GONE!

  29. WE WANT PEOPLE LIKE YOU YOUNG MULUZU,AND NOT THOSE WHO ARE BEIG BOUGHT WITH MONEY, AND LET MALAWIANS SUFFER AND DIE.

  30. Zebron h banda says:

    That company is there to rack in billions of dollars at the expense of our people’s lives.locals hardly benefit anything;the owners who ain’t there in malawi and feel nothing are enjoying the fruits of poisoned malawians.close the damn thing!

  31. Jelbin mk says:

    Thanks Mr Muluzi thus why am not comfortable and pleased enough to see you in this government of fools because you are not supposed to be there. I know you wanted to protect your father from prosecution of which even me could do to make sure my father stays out of the cooler at all costs. But your efforts will not yield anything because paladin did sign very secret and punitive deals with our government of which even yourself are not aware of they signed these stupid deals during Bingu’s regime and the JB’s administration talked about changing them but to no effect because some of the beneficiaries of that stupid deal were still with JB and the biggest beneficiaries of it are Goodall Gondwe George Chaponda and the Muthatika family. These racist paladins must just park and go before they kill us all they don’t care whether we live or die. I salute you Mr Muluzi for standing up for your fellow Malawians you have made your mark and you have let us known your opinion on the matter now its up to the government let by peter to take necessary action though I don’t think he will because he cares less for the northerners on reasons best known to himself thanks.

  32. fkr says:

    What I am unsure of is just how radio active is the water. The uranium is not enriched at the mine is it, so its just natural uranium from the ground that has been semi processed for export. The water is used to wash the rock that bears the uranium ore. So I can’t believe that the levels are so high. This is not heavy water is it? You can’t compare the radio active water at fukushima to what is being stored at the Paladin mine can you? Did the government officials take a gieger meter to the mine and test the radio activity of the water ? That would immediately indicate if there is a problem or not, and if there is not then no more talking, if there is a problem then the water needs to be treated and then discharged. It sounds as if this is a political issue, people want to make money getting compensation for something that doesn’t exist. Paladin is no the enemy here, I just don’t see what wrong they have done.

  33. chimboro says:

    Why should mafumu be taken to Paladin? Please understand things well .If people from Karonga are up to date ,they can not take these primary school leavers to mine and find out whether Paladin has actually disposed hazardious wastes in the river.As a company it adheres to international health STDs ,what we see from these locals is that a few uneducated individuals want to show off that they know yet they are total blind.Kyungu do not waste time with these vendors ,invite your well educated sons and daughters in the field of science and environment.Why accompany these primary school leavers who are just there to threaten investors .Please ,Muluzi give a strong warning otherwise you are scaring investors with your Mafumu.

  34. aphiri says:

    Thanks Atupele for bn honest. This kayelekela is a worst experience in Malawi. We didn’t benefit as a country. Kayelekela was importing 1 million litres of diesel per month duty free. That’s means x12 months was 12 million litres and they were paying around 300 million kwacha per year as government dividends. So u can see that it was better for government to get duty for fuel from them coz it was more than 300 million. This is hw we were duped. Only Bingu knew the truth. Hw can u make an investor to save more than Wat u get from him? This is Wat we call investors? Now the lake is polluted. Why Malawi. Learn from mugabe on these issues. In Zimbabwe this kayelekela cud be sent packing in 48hrs but here u ll investigate until 2019.lol

  35. Shushe says:

    If ppo r not benefiting from this dubious mining thing called paladin let them go where they came from.period.

  36. chinena says:

    these people from Karonga just want free money from Paladin.Muluzi just tell them that Uranium is not mined in Malawi only and the government has all manpower to report if any hazard materials are let free in the river.They are scaring investors .If you check them, they are just a group of unlearned people.Kyungu is just making unnecessary noise.

  37. Patriot says:

    Anangopita kukajambula zinthunzi kumeneko?
    Nsomba zikufatu.
    SAY NO TO MINING IN LAKE MALAWI

  38. Opposer says:

    Wanzeru ndi Atupele basi mu cabinet yonse. He is the only One To sprak the truth even in the eyes of those in power and the paladin pharaoh. Bravo Atu.

  39. Dan says:

    As things stand now, the most prudent course of action to take is to close down the Kayelekera mine.

    Secondly, using the relevant legal tools, the Mw government must expatriate all the Paladin officials.

  40. Alfred Munduwabo says:

    These guys claimed that the main was closed during JB’s time what is this that this time of another Munthalika they are quietly reopening the mine ? Is the mine for the Munthalika clan ?
    This is the time this Kyungu can prove and differ with the Lhomwe’s that he is not there to make his people die , they need to be protected even if his interest is money first .

  41. Anthuwa athandizidwe moyenera,sizomaika miyoyo yao pa chiswe. Sitingakusekerereni.

  42. Tsekani mgodi umenewo. Mukupondura Nokha, nde mukufunanso kutiphera abale athu. Agalu Inu eti.

  43. MULUZI THIS IS TIME TO SHOW AZUNGU THAT YOU. LOVE YOUR COUNTRY AND CAN’T BE BOUGHT.WE ALSO THANK OUR KING KYUNGU FOR YOUR WISE AND DYNAMIC LEADERSHIP. A MALAWI ITS GOOD TO HAVE FUMU YOPITA KU SCHOOL.

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