On Salima mine deaths: Muckraking Extra

Three people, one of them barely a toddler, were buried alive when the illegal mine they were working in crumbled.

News of the discovery of garnet, a semi-precious stone – cousins to rubies and raw material for rings and wrist watches, has been around for more than a month now. An ad hoc town is growing on the banks on Lilongwe River where the ‘gold’ has been discovered.

One would ordinarily think government would be interested to find out what was going on. An impromptu settlement of hundreds of people would normally attract social and health issues.

If they were not dozing on their jobs, someone somewhere should have investigated the craze around the garnet discovery. We always say the mining is illegal which means the trade in such minerals must be illegal as well.

But still the mining is going on unregulated. The market for the garnet is there that is why middlemen are parting with as much as K100,000 for a 10mg stone.

Where is government in all this? Were we waiting for people to die before we could act?

The scramble for the mysterious precious stone means people are desperate and would fall for anything that can give them a ‘quick fix’. If there is indeed a market for the precious stone government need to put in place measures to regulate it. If unregulated people are parting with as much as K100,000 for a 10mg stone it obviously means these amateur miners are being ripped off.

Atupele Muluzi, as the minister responsible, should take personal interest here and visit the area to investigate what is going on. If the mysterious buyers are ready to part with thousands of kwacha there might be wealth sitting under the banks of Lilongwe River.

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25 thoughts on “On Salima mine deaths: Muckraking Extra”

  1. Karo gaii says:

    other than mining but vry interested with home sexual,MWan gvt readers! why?

  2. Mbolo Sidwala! says:

    Pena pake pamafunika boma kulitukwana kumene for them to issue press statement. Look, no serious follow up on the incident, kuli zii! Kaya dzikutani kaya?

  3. Goverment must take action for that

  4. sniper says:

    ntchito kumangokhalira mu ofice pakalapakala nd ma secretary osamaenda ndkumaona kunjaku…malawi nde palibe chlipo ndthu!!

  5. Kennedy says:

    This is why we are so poor – we do not have eagles eyes to see opportunities around us.

  6. Tchete says:

    Government should act for the incident that has happened in Salima..

  7. fkr says:

    Wow i need to go and inspect this mine immediately to see if i too can get rich

  8. kachasu says:

    Mathanyula and all his men are still in a deep slumber, nothing will wake them up. Tiyeni nazo A Nyasa mabvuto tili nawo

  9. My only regret is that I was born a malawian

  10. apex wiping our chimwadzulu ruby and media knows that ,even government never take action ,rubies are very valuable than diamond why government does not take action to operate the mine that apex liping our rubies in mtonda chimwadzulu mtcheu.

  11. Dont talk rabish this is a shocking story says:

    Dont insult one another,this is a shocking story pliz.

  12. mtila zomba says:

    guys kumaona zolemba this is noncess

  13. che otis says:

    Angel of doom, what did tenthani do to you? It seems you hate the guy a lot.

    1. Angel of Doom says:

      I comment on issues not personalities, have you seen my comment on his other piece? I believe that prompted him to write this, i am just continuing on my earlier observations.

      I don’t even know the guy how can I hate him, he might even be a good friend should we meet, but that should not stop me on commenting on issues that he raises.

      Try commenting on issues, you will find it very liberating.

  14. gulugufe says:

    “cousins to rubies” what a misleading description!! On another note, it does not require the whole minister to visit this place, mines department can look into this.

  15. BEAM says:

    DO WE HAVE A GOVERNMENT HERE IN MALAWI OR THEY ARE ALL SLEEPING IN THE ABSENCE OF DONOR AID. YOU WOULD HAVE SEEN THEM RUNNING UP AND DOWN IF THE DONOR COMMUNITY GAVE THEIR 40% TO THE MALAWI ANNUAL BUDGET. BUT IT IS AS IF THE FAMILY HAS NOTHING TO EAT SO EVERY BODY IN THE FAMILY INCLUDING THE FATHER ARE ALL HUNGRY AND WEEK FAILING TO EVEN WAKE UP TO GO LOOK FOR GANYU AS THEY ARE ALL DOWN WITH HUNGER. THATS EXACTLY WHAT IS HAPPENING AT THE MOMENT. ALIYENSE KUMANGOYANG’ANA KUKAMWA KWA MZAKE NDI BAMBO YEMWE NO MANYAZI . ZAMANYAZI INDEED.

  16. padoko says:

    WARNING: The only thing the Govt can do is to regulate prices for the good of these local miners. Anyone trying to stop us from out self liberation from poverty faces the worst wrath. Wait for your results from ndege zounika chuma chobisika this is locally our own. RIP our dear Malawian who have died trying hard to move out of poverty.

    1. Angel of Doom says:

      what is worse than dying?

  17. Dick says:

    THIS GOVT IS NOT VISIONARY

  18. nchitidwe says:

    Zovuta Ralph!!!!!!!!!

  19. Karo gaii says:

    MW gvt rely on atipatsa azungu.but the question is iwo azungu amazitenga kuti? very simple answer alindimigondi.so why not not us we hav the resoces.but why?nkhani yake yikhale kusolola.political readers in mw just after turnig 2 yrs in readership they r billionaires acording to CNN report

  20. Angel of Doom says:

    This is more like it. but it would have been better if you shoehorned it to the relevant part of government.

    Government is a collection of parts and each part should be held accountable for what they are responsible for, just saying government is very vague and suspect.

    1. Metallic says:

      So u want all critics to pin point the specific individuals concerned with an issue huh.. Poor thinkin in disguise. Ralph here z makin a recommendation and its th govt which needs 2address the issue using the relevant personnel. Whether ts the police, army, first lady, or even you, the message is clear: govt has to intervene… As of who goes to the field, who cares..

      1. Angel of Doom says:

        People like you are the reason this country does not go anywhere. You want to hide under the umbrella of Government, get paid for doing nothing? When are you going to learn to take responsibility?

        A police woman giving guns to a husband to use them for robberies and killing fellow police people, how is that the responsibility of government at large? That issue should be laid at the door of the police commissioner, and if Muckracking wants to write about that, he should lay the blame squarely at the police commissioners door, that is why we employ him to ensure that his police force is disciplined and does its Job, nothing to do with central government.

        Central Governments job is to issue policy (Shoot to kill) How many thieves have the police shot and killed following that policy? is it not because they are the thieves themselves? So tell me how is that central governments fault?

        Unfortunately people of your mentality do not differentiate the political government in power and civil servants.

        Politicians come and go, government can not change with every political party that comes in, if you have strong arms of government, it should not matter which party is in power.

        That is why fingers should be pointed at the relevant part of government, and the head of that part should be answerable.

        A person of your calibre, based on your comment can not understand.

  21. Patrick says:

    Ther are people who know about safety in mining who are interested in small scale mining .why don’t you mobilise such skills put them to good use

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