Paladin dismisses Malawi corruption charges: Nawena claims ‘without foundation’

Uranium miner Paladin Energy  has dimissed claims by Malawian lawmaker  that a child of one of the top government official has pocketed over K40 million bribe from the managers of Kayelekera project in Karonga as one way of gaining favours from the government.

Controversial Thyolo Thava parliamentarian Lifred Nawena made the bribery allegations in Parliament last week.

He alleged that an account was opened at a commercial bank where the money was deposited to by Paladin officials recently.

Nawena challenged that he has “all the evidence.”

However, the miner denied the allegations, saying accountability and transparency are important parts of their sustainability principles.

Greg Walker: Accusation without foundation

“Paladin has not and will not make payments to politicians and/or donations to political parties – directly or indirectly,” Greg Walker, Paladin’s international affairs manager told Nyasa Times.

“It would be in breach of our Corporate Policy with regard to political donations and our Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy and procedures.”

Paladin said there is no evidence because the accusation by the lawmaker is without foundation only made  under Parliamentary privilege, challenging anyone with evidence to  provide it to the Anti-Corruption Bureau in Malawi or the Australian Federal Police.

“I do not know how Malawi expects to attract the further significant inflows of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) when it treats the one Company which has invested here in such a shabby fashion,” said Walker.

In another development. Paladin Energy Limited chairperson Rick Crabb,  in his address at the 2012 annual general meeting (AGM) in Australia, said it is rather unfortunate that the miner must spend a great deal of time dealing with “spurious unfounded allegations” made in purported news sites usually by people who are anti-mining, anti-uranium or are pushing some other vested interest..

Kayelekera Uranium Mining site is located in the northern part of Malawi 52KM west of the provincial town of Karonga.

A mining Licence covering 5,550 hectares was granted in April 2007 for a period of 15 years following the completion of the agreement with Malawi government.

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