Muluzi says govt inspecting Paladin mine as Malawi Police block protesters

Protesters at Kayelekera.-Photo by Tiwonge Kumwenda, Nyasa Times

Protesters at Kayelekera.-Photo by Tiwonge Kumwenda, Nyasa Times

Chief explaining why they need to enter.-Photo by Tiwonge Kumwenda, Nyasa Times

Chief explaining why they need to enter.-Photo by Tiwonge Kumwenda, Nyasa Times

A discussion at the mine.-Photo by Tiwonge Kumwenda, Nyasa Times

A discussion at the mine.-Photo by Tiwonge Kumwenda, Nyasa Times

Senior Chief Karonga going to meet paladin boss.-Photo by Tiwonge Kumwenda, Nyasa Times

Senior Chief Karonga going to meet paladin boss.-Photo by Tiwonge Kumwenda, Nyasa Times

Out of bounds: Police block irate citizens from storming the mine.-Photo by Tiwone Kumwenda, Nyasa Times

Out of bounds: Police block irate citizens from storming the mine.-Photo by Tiwone Kumwenda, Nyasa Times

Malawi’s Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Atupele Muluzi, has said government through his ministry has deployed inspectors to Kayelekera uranium mine in northern district of Karonga after a spill at Paladin Energy’s project.

Paladin confirmed it had suffered “minor” storm damage on Monday evening after a 20-minute, high-intensity storm saw 25mm of rain fall on the site.

The spill comes just days after Paladin rejected reports that it was discharging toxic waste from the mine into the local river.

Muluzi said government inspectors will assess the situation.

“I am in Karonga where following governments inspectors preliminary findings I will hold a Town Hall Meeting will the local community to brief them of the situation this afternoon,” Muluzi told Nyasa Times on Thursday.

Muluzi is accompanied by experts within the ministry on environmental affairs and officials from the ministry of water.

“On Friday, I will be holding a press briefing communicating government’s official position on the matter, what transpired, and what action has been taken and will be taken,” he added.

On Wednesday tension erupted at Kayelekera uranium site as armed police stopped irate residents of the district who wanted to enter the premises.

Led by a coalition of civil society organizations, religious readers, councillors and chiefs, the group stormed the mine after Paladin confirmed the leakage, urging that the company is deliberately releasing the toxic waste into the local river system of sere which drains its water to Lake Malawi.

According to chairperson of Natural Resource Justice Rink Network a group of 33 Non-Governmental Organizations Kosam Munthali said Paladin is “fooling” Malawians.

“This is a clear indication on why we are  denied to verify the status of the tailing dams ourselves because they know that their toxic waste products have been draining into our river since the beginning of fish death in our rivers and Lake Malawi as the real cause of the matter is yet to be established,” said Munthali.

District Commissioner Rosemary Moyo said has no authority to let people in the district visit Paladin site the development which made the community together with CSOs to go to Kayelekera for a  visit themselves.

However, armed police blocked the group.

“The laws of Malawi does not allow anyone to enter the premises of mining sectors without government permission, so the bosses here wants those documents if you don’t have them no enter,” said Almakio Daka the Station Officer of police in the district.

Paladin official concurred with Daka saying “only government officials are allowed to enter into our premises.”

The miner’s managing director John Borshoff said : “The resultant surge of storm water caused the liner in the plant run-off tank to rupture, releasing up to 500 cubic metres of material to the bunded areas of the site.”

He said following discovery of the damaged tank, the company “immediately commenced protection and remediation procedures and the site remains secure;”

The company also claimed that a sampling program to analyse water from within the local stream system was also initiated to confirm no contamination occurred.

Paladin has been accused of  discharging waste into the local river system.  The miner rejected the accusations.

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56 thoughts on “Muluzi says govt inspecting Paladin mine as Malawi Police block protesters”

  1. Mascahbana says:

    As of today 12/01/2015
    Karonga Market
    Chambo 5 @MK1000
    Fish is cheap people still picking and selling people biuing and eaton

  2. freedom says:

    Chief Kalonga and wanyachutsa mose
    if you have issues go to court and present your corners there.you have no right to walking around the private property of kayerekera.these are investors and they need to be respected and protected,use the collect channels which would later become a tool for your demands.
    yes this is a government for the people and by the people,but doesn’t warrant over stepping the ruling laws of Malawi accordingly.respect what the agreed contracts stipulates,mind you we have alot of investors interested to come and kayerekera is one of there reference so trade carefully.

  3. Chimwemwe says:

    does anyone have any evidence?
    Atupele went to the mine, did he say they were discharging water?
    The government said they took samples, where are the results?
    all we here are accusations but no evidence, maybe the accusers are hoping for silver to make them quiet.

  4. M'doko says:

    Ithink uraniun is doing nothing to national economy and bringing to us problems after promblem , and therefore they should just close and clean the site before leaving the site

  5. mbangombe says:

    We have atleast Bunda, Polytechnic, Chancellor College, Mzuni to help the nation on issues of environment posed by uraniun mining. Why don’t we institute a team of experts from the colleges to conduct a thorough study on effects of this mining. We cannot as malawians be debating and wasting time and resources on mere rumours. Please professionals help us.

    1. concerned citizen says:

      You don’t understand! Are you that dull!? Malawians umbuli…! It’s happening as you seat pwii writing your rubbish.

  6. Ciss says:

    t look simple bt will affect thousand of pple in malawi from north to south as well,bt what z the benefit of this wine to malawi,bt get to knw this uranium is much expensive

  7. jobless corner says:

    Well im in Karonga and it is rumoured with some locals that fishes are dying at dying at the lake and some rivers for unknown reasons.Its time our scientists did some test with these dying fish and took some sample from water as to what is causing all this than relying to some bought politicians like Atupele who put money first than the lives of the ordinary people.Do you think these a Australians can easily accept about the leakage while they r making a killing out of it?.The livelihoods of the locals depends on the rivers and the lake while they don’t benefit anything from the lake.

  8. Tozer.Tsono says:

    Atupele admits that there is no government oversight for such a high value project which has the potential to damage the health of the people and the land for years to come. Why wasn’t the size of the drain considered in the planning phase?
    In Australia, Paladin would not have allowed the drainage system to fail. The Company would pay heavily for such imbecilic lapses in planning and management.
    Blaming it on the rain is tantamount to telling the Malawi government that she is a fool and therefore deserving a fools excuse. They have to protect the natural habitat at all costs. Whether or not the waste went into streams or rivers or the lake, is not the issue.

    The soil, the water table and the fact that no one (including Paladin and Atupele’s or DPP leadership) seems to know that water can increase the volume to any fluid in container when added, are the issues.

    For a government that neither has resources nor expertise to investigate leaks or any such underhandedness caused by Paladin, emphasis ought to be on implementing preventive measures, which citizens can monitor. Without immediate transparency, efforts to resolve self created mishaps (by Paladin) are too little too late. Reacting to problems is expensive, emphasis is on minimizing the problem and always fraught with missteps or bribes that tend to silence the well intended efforts.

    Remember, a mine can dry up, but the after effects of mismanagement and mishandling of Uranium and its derivatives could jeopardize the already poor healths of Malawians for decades to come. Get an Independent UN sponsored organization to assist with monitoring. They have experts in Uranium inspections.

    1. concerned citizen says:

      That’s a very good analysis and the only way to go. We need external experts with full knowledge and experience in uranium issues and not these Vendors masquerading as political leaders.They know nothing apart from pocketing blood money in form of bribes period!

  9. That’s why i didn’t waist my vote to the greedy politicians,GOD is keeping my ballot paper 4 the man of GOD.(ABUSA in 2019 if GOD will say yes, nobody will say no)We’re tired of this monopolizers.

  10. Matako says:

    This is what happens when you have leaders that are so corrupt that they do not take citizens health into consideration. This mine is not beneficial to Malawians as the loyalties are remitted to Munthalika”s account outside the country. Malawians need to wake up These are our resources and being sold at whole sale prices to greedy colonialists who are greasing the palms of those in office. There need be an immediate environmental assessment to determine exactly what happened.

    1. concerned citizen says:

      We need to rise and demand our economic rights and transparence by the so called politicians. We can’t tolerate national wealth to be channelled to the handful greedy people whose office is entrusted to do the needful for the Malawians interest.

  11. Opposer says:

    Joyce Banda was a true Malawian leader. When she was president of Malawi paladin closed kayerekera mines but once these lomwe crooks came back To ooser Through court votes, thet immidiately came bback following their fellow crooks. Shame on these fools together.

  12. chinkombaleza gumanyundo gowa says:

    Its a pity you Malawians who do not know about mines and protection measures. Kodi nyumba zikugwazi nkufuna kapena natural disasters caused by heavey rains. Amalawi tiyeni tizinvetsa za m’mene zinthu zimakhalirira chfukwa cha madisaster. m’malo moti tiwone kuti zachitika bwanji komanso chachititsa ndi chiyani? ndipo tipewe bwanji kuti zisachitikenso, tikulimbana kunyozana ndi kufuna kuononga zinthu. Asiyeni a boma afufuze ndipo ayeze mudzadziwa dongosolo loyenera kutsata.

  13. mlomwe original says:

    A Malawi tiyeni tidzuke. ku Karongako pliz Paladin ichokeeeee!Atiphatu anthu awa tayambani ife tikuthandizani.We are behind you

  14. Kwathaine says:

    John Boshoff and Greg walker are dictating to this DPP government. Better for people in Karonga to blockade Paladin ‘s mine. The police chief in Karonga is on regular pay from Greg Walker. Kyungu and Karonga are being bribed. Malawi is now ruled by racists Greg Walker and his racist South African gays, The gays are contaminating Malawi with man sleeping with man at Kayekelera. God is bound to forget us. Chase this mzungus out for God to have mercy..

  15. saidi says:

    close the company

  16. Yankees says:

    All the pple livin’ n’ Karonga are Malawians thats in block Latters, if u go to Karonga U wil be treated like U live there and I for one went there and stayed for almost 6 solid days, its a very beutiful Town that even in some areas from the Central and South U cant compare it, if the urenium dasmats can spread a certain outbreak, malawians Dont U think it wil affect us all? Ung’onoung’ono z this the reason wy U left UDF or u want just to feed ur unsatsified Berry? Much as I know u’re aYawo by tribe but even in Karonga there are others from ur Tribe, tikamakatenga ma Galimoto timafika ku Karongako if by Bus or personal Vehcl! Malawi cant be a one tribed country God fo Bid, athandizeni amalawi anzanthu akukhala ku karonga, zizitsilu amenewo ayi may be U, uzungu awo akatha urenium wawoyo abanduka koma malawi akhalabe chomcho, Fulani ndalamazo ngati mutadzapite nazo mmanda, anyani inu, Munyaaa!!!!.

  17. Achimidzimidzi says:

    Bwana Muluzi, did you seek the opinion of the locals when you gave Paladin concession. Our opinion when you come that the agreement be cancelled immediately for non compliance. Welcome we will chat.

  18. chinena says:

    Malawi.ans let us not waste time on only dangers of Uranium. some time we should be able to ask ourselves such questions; Where in the world has Uranium caused at the stage it is being mined as that of Kayerekera?Is there any uranium mine on this world apart from ours?
    How long does exposed uranium pose danger to life. Please source more information from internet news .search dangers of URANIUM WASTE and LIFE STAN .Do not just make noise.

    1. concerned citizen says:

      You think this is a joke. Why not just shut up if you don’t understand the extent of radiation damage this radio active material can do!

  19. Concerned Environmetalist says:

    This is a clear indication that minimum safety standards have not been put in place at Kayerekera. Do you Malawians recall a story which was carried by Nyasatimes last year about a worker who was kicked out of Mwayiwathu Hospital to die at home just because the company was no longer willing to pay for his medical expenses? Where did this innocent poor Malawian catch the cancer? I blame Kayerekera for taking advantage of lack of competency of our leaders and weak institutional arrangements that we have in Malawi. More blame goes to the Government of Malawi, Mr Principal Secretary for the responsible ministry, you mean you could not advise your government about the need to put in place a Radiation Monitoring System? If I were you I would hand in my resignation letter by tomorrow morning as this reveals how unsuitable you are for this position. So you have all along been waiting for such an action by the locals so you can start monitoring? if you cheat me to say no, we have been monitoring the situation, where is the data? and why hiding it?

    It is not an issue of the Minister responding and coming out to the media to make his political statements here, we need a regulatory board to be responsible for this. KuMalawi, tili ndi mavuto amnanu,

  20. Phodox says:

    He he so Tumbukas are not happy for us the Lomwe to start benefiting from kalonga uranium mine. You are against Paladin becuase he wants to open it when JB is out of government. That uranium mine is for us DPP. You will see as production will pick up shortly. Tidya money ndi Creg. ATumbuka mwagwanayo basi.

  21. Gilbert masano says:

    Ife tinamva kale kuti akudyerera ku paladin ku ndi Pitala, Atupere andi Malunga mwangoona kukonda ndalama anthuni koma mwanaonga dziko i liked Kamuzu samalola zimenezi amadziwa kuyipakwake. mumati mwatumako ma ministers ndi ma MPs chonsecho akapita amakabwerako ndi chinthumba cha ndalama kuwatseka pa kamwa ndindani samadziwa musaone ngati sitidziwa. Mulungu azikulangani nanu muzisiya ndalama zimenezi onga akulu anu aja.

  22. mboniyabwalo says:

    Government officials to assess the situation. Do they have the equipment. Uranium is dangerous no matter in small quantity. That is a serious hazmat and needs hazmat technicians to handle the situation.

  23. mwama says:

    Let this stupid puppets of the government take part in this situation. they have sold our rights to foreigners with their greed. I hate the Kalongas and their useless mwamondwes. God will judge you and imishuka gimagune mwesa.

  24. Akulisinga says:

    khungu this is the issue to match for not what you were doing with your vindere vya mafumu.

  25. dadaboma says:

    DPP is the one benefiting from Paladin’s operations at Kayerekera. So DPP govt will always play down the danger Paladin poses to the people of KA. Similarly, don’t expect Muluzi to say the truth of the danger of Paladin to KA residents. In fact, DPP govt hates KA and all northern people, and they’re happy that while they benefit from KA resources, the people of KA are exposed to extreme danger. Boma ili la DPP silisamala za anthu akumpoto. DPP only cares for its Lomwe people. The life of the people of KA and the north is in the hands of the KA and northern people themselves. We should not allow to be killed by DPP through Paladin. DPP is using Paladin to kill the people of KA and north, because DPP already hates these people. Let us not allow any further talks on the issue of Paladin’s continuation of operations in KA. Paladin must go. DPP must go. They must leave our land. They cannot pollute our land and our people and our fish. We’ll not go to their land, either Paladin’s land in Australia or DPP’s land in Lomwe belt; we live in the land of our forefathers in KA and in the north, and this land must be protected for the benefit of its inhabitants. If we chase Paladin and DPP or kill them if they insist to stay, we’ll be acting in the best interest of our people. This is our land, our people’s future and hope. Let’s rise up, each one of us from our hovels to confront the aliens and free our land from the pests.

  26. No Name says:

    Atupele Muluzi pliz note that you’re being tried by Malawians.This is the time to show us there is leadership in you,we have tried so many pipo including your father but to no avail.I know how to deal with these pipo but i can’t tell you because i want to see if indeed you are a leader,konza ka pansi kuti kam’mwamba kasike.If the Government fail to deal with this problem then the pipo in Malawi will deal with it without fear but favouring the Karonga Malawians.

  27. Sake Chilling says:

    To the proponents of oil exploration of oil in Lake Malawi – this is the sort of thing that will happen should it go ahead. The oil companies will not give a hoot to pollution of the waters which people along the lake drink and use for domestic purposes.

  28. A MALAWI ENAFE TIMAKONDWERA KUTI ENA A MALAWI AZIVUTIKA, AZIFA, AZIDWARA. BOMA NALO LILIBE ULEMU NDI ANTHU AKE, KAMUZU AMAKANA IZI, SIKUTI SAMAFUNA AYI, KOMA KOMA KUTI AMAFUNILA ANTHU AKE MUTENDERE.

    1. Malindima says:

      Monga Mtambo! Umakondwera ndi zoterezi.

  29. Den says:

    Karonga belongs to us and we will do anything possible to prevent the continuation of these contaminants to our beloved land which has been invaded by this vampire called Paladin

  30. Liberate Malawi says:

    Malawi needs to reconsider the fact that Paladin and it’s racist management led by Greg Walker has outlived its welcome in Malawi. There is nothing to be gained by Paladin continuing in Malawi. This is the right time to get Malawi rid of this colonial imposition on our people. Free Malawi from Paladin.

  31. Uranium BAR says:

    Kodi boma limanyengelera paladin chifukwa chani? As long as govt and our policemen are corrupted by paladin they will not stop backing them. If production stopped what are they doing? Let them go bcz they are now committing crime against humanity. Amasowa momwe angataire zinthu kunamizira kuti they have closed. Even if govt inspectors go palibe chingachitike
    They have already been corrupted in Lilongwe by the MONSTERS MASTER GREG

  32. NYONI says:

    CAN GOVERNMENT COME OUT AND EXPLAIN TO MALAWIANS WHAT WE HAVE BENEFITED FROM PALADIN PROCEEDS, SO THAT WE LET PALADIN TO CONTINUE OPERATING OR NOT.

  33. Dick says:

    MALAWIANS WE ARE FOOLS. WE ARE GREEDY FOR MONEY FOR JUST OUR POCKETS AT THE EXPENSE OF OUR FELLOW RELATIVES. IT WAS GOODAL GONDWE WHO SIGNED THIS SHIT PROJECT AND HE HAS BENEFITED A LOT. BINGU BENEFITED AND DURING JB’ ERS ROY KACHALE POCKETED TOO.

  34. Nationalist says:

    Atupele Muluzi remember how you handle this issue will determine if you have in within you to be a leader. Malawians will judge you in how you handle this issue. If you waver then Malawians will believe that you are also receiving bribes from Greg Walker and selling out Malawians. So be on your guard and do what for at least 10 years your predessasors as Ministers failed to do. Be a nationalist and make Paladin accountable. Today sadly Greg Walker and the other mzungus at the mine behave as if Kayekelera is an independent country ruled by President John Borshoff.

  35. Patriot says:

    Kumakhala bize ndi iukapereka zimakalata zopanda ntchito kuti ma CS achotsedwe ntchito uku misinje yathu ikuwonongeka komanso Lake Malawinsomba zathu zikufa.
    Stupid Chiefs.
    SAY NO TO MINING IN LAKE MALAWI

  36. Kelvin says:

    So many innocent people will die for the benefit of few.Government is pretending to be blind.so what will happen to the poor people who depend on those rivers and lake Malawi for living.Lake Malawi helped me to go to school so do my kids and all kids in our village.What I’m asking myself is,if uranium mine is contaminating our rivers and lake,what will happen when they start drilling oil in the lake?That will be a big dissaster to the Malawians.

  37. Petros kachulu says:

    Mr Minister dont tell us you are up there in Karonga to solve problems because you are one of the problems.

    Its not just a minor leakage but what matters here is the concentration and type of the material at hand. LETHAL. That IS the word.

    For Paladin to heal with your money. leave our resources, after all you did nt found us dying when you came. we survived thousand years without you hence we can survive. in short we dont need you.

  38. kuntha Kinte says:

    Mr Minister Atupele Muluzi, the officials whom you send to the mine are either already being paid bribes by Greg Walker or will for sure be bribed by Greg Walker. What is required here is to fly in independent specialists from South Africa to verify. Look at the photograph and you will notice the arrogance of the whiteman in the photo. Government has to win the trust of the people of Karonga and Malawi that their rivers and lake are safe, you as a politician should not be concerned about Paladin. This is surely and opportunity for you to lead and show leadership. Deport the arrogant whiteman Greg Walker he is bribing Ministry officials, traditional chiefs cand others day in and day out.

  39. These people were going to offices not to mines. Kayelera sinatukule karonga mpaka lero ilibe phindu. Koma mukuwathililanso poison mmadzi anthuwaAmba. Mbuzi inu muwapatse chindapusa anthuwo,msapase atupeleyo to avoid chipepesogate!

  40. KINGSOLOMONS PALACE says:

    NYASATIMES,THE NATION AT LARGE WOULD LIKE TO HEAR THAT WATER AND THE FISH IN DE SURROUNDING AREA HAVE BEEN TESTED AND THESE ARE THE RESULTS ETC.WE DEMAND DOCUMENTED AND SIGNED INDEPENDENT REPORT.NOT ALL MALAWIANS R DOCILE.HAPPYLHM.

  41. sunderstar says:

    Ladies and gentlemen, we must force Government to close this mine in the Long term we will have problems with the wastes of this mine. Cleaning this place will exceed the benefits to gained from it. Paladin is very careless and the whites working there take Malawians to be stupid. All along we have survived without mines and we will survive without Kayerekela.

  42. Sukula Masulu Nkhalikukula says:

    Chernobyl 2?!

    While Henry Foster Chimunthu Banda and Bingu’s children will forever swim in the ill gotten money they benefitted from this project, my kin and kith in Karonga and Chitipa shall forever be exposed to the dangers of radiation.

    Chimunthu Banda uzafa imfa yowawa

  43. mlomwe original says:

    Paladin does not care about us,they robbed us,now they want to kill us. Exposure to radiation is life threatening.
    Inu a ma CSO nkhani koma iyi Paladin should be taken to book osati kulimbana ndi Mai Getrude abweze 5million.

  44. Ernest kamono says:

    Very bad for the people of Malawi

  45. swiswiri mbewa says:

    The mining company must have done remedial actions or preventative strategies before hand. A storm of 23mm is way very low for such accidents to happen. The design of its tanks should have prepared for a 200 year storm probability say 150mm a day.

  46. KINGSOLOMONS PALACE says:

    FIRSTLY,I WARN COMMUNITY MEMBERS PLS STAY AWAY.U MUST FEAR THE RADIATION JUST AS U WOULD FEAR EBOLA.PLS DO NOT DARE.THAT RADIATION IS INVISIBLE TO EYE. U DO NOT HAVE EQUIPMENT TO MEASURE.LET GOVERNMENT DO THEIR JOB.I HOPE THEY HAVE THE CAPACITY -WE SHALL JUDGE THE DEGREES THEY GOT FROM POLY BY WHAT THEY COME UP WITH.BY THE WAY MBS SEEMS TO BE SLEEPING,WHY NOT TEST THE FISH AND THE WATER?KAPITO WHERE R U?.FINALLY I FEEL A GOVERNMENT SCIENTIST MUST GIVE THE NATION DOCUMENTED FINDINGS AT KAYELEKELA FOR FUTURE USE, WE DO NOT WANT LIP SERVICE AND THE THE REPORT TO B POLITICISED.FUTURE GENERATIONS SHALL ALSO JUDGE WHOEVER HANDLES THIS MATTER ON BEHALF OF THE NATION.HAPPYLHM

  47. Apo chief karonga good.

  48. inayake says:

    The best way is not to confront Paladin in such as way because the community and other allies of Karonga will always be hitting a brick wall. Hire independent experts to carry test on the affected rivers. If in deed Paladin is sending toxic waste into the Lake these experts will discover it. Confronting them without any empirical evidence will not solve anything. Engage environmental groups such as green peace. They have qualified staff, equipment and competent labs with can be independently verify. Lets be honest Paladin is protected by government and I doubt if it will ever expose it.

  49. kodi paladin imadelela bwanji?

  50. Crispin Bwangala says:

    Stupid Paladin. We are worse off with you than without you. if this is the approach you are taking, we will start taking hostages one by one, starting with the big head, Greg

  51. Kanyimbi says:

    Uranium is a dangerous material. Residents should not be allowed to be exposed to the radiation. However this shows that Paladin is not concerned with the safety of Malawians.

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