Chinese mining firm ‘captures’ local chiefs,  puts them on payroll

A controversial Chinese owned gemstone mining firm in Chitipa District has put 21 local chiefs on a monthly pay roll of K20 000 and has justified the payments as gifts symbolizing what it called “the chiefs good relationship with the company”.

Senior Chief Kameme: Chinese miners demanding compensation from him and 4 others

Malawi government pays Group Village Headmen K10 000 per month and it means these Chitipa Chiefs are now carting home K30000 courtsey of this Chinese firm.

Despite, being billed as one of the sectors that could help boost the country’s economy by 20%, 2017 Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) Report shows that the mining sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) and the economy in general is shrinking.

The Church and Society Program of CCAP in the Synod Livingstonia has discovered this practice by Ilomba Mining Company where 21 chiefs under Traditional Authority Mwawulambya are appearing on the mining company’s payroll.

The Chief’s soekperson Group Village Headman Chizale confirmed the extra pay, a development that gives credence to allegations that the company had been bribing locals to silence them from demanding the Chinese mining investor fulfils some of the corporate social responsibility he made before the commencement of operations.

Among other things the locals are demanding for the immediate construction of a clinic, an electric transformer, five boreholes, a teacher’s house and a graveled road from the mine to Kasisi turnoff before the expiry of the miner’s Licence by June 2020.

“Zhang gives us the money because he says he appreciate our role as leaders in our community, we tried to reject the money but he said as elders we had to receive it so that our relationship should continue growing from strength to strength,” GVH Chizale said.

Part owner of the Company Jou Zhang said he saw nothing wrong in helping the local chiefs pocket a little something.

Church and Society Program Executive Director Moses Mkandawire said it is sad that the mining company is operating in the area without fulfilling some of the requirements like environmental impact assessment and corporate social responsibilities in relation with the rules governing the extractive industry worldwide.

“There are a number of emerging issues from the mine…we want to see them having a good relationship with the communities and also we tried to enquire whether there was an environmental impact assessment prior to the commencement of the mining activities,” Mkandawire said.

But Mkandawire did no comment on the alleged bribery by the Chinese firm disguised as ‘gifts’.

On December 20th 2019, under Civil Case Number 470, the company dragged to court Michael Mansewu, Kossam Munthali, Sydney Simwaka, SGVH Mbilima and T/A Kameme for various offences that led to the closure of business at its mine in Chitipa District a week before.

Meanwhile, the company has distanced itself from an impending lawsuit filed at the Mzuzu High Court where it is demanding compensation from Senior Chief Kameme and four others for loss of business and gemstones following running battles with locals.

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Nasibeko
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Nasibeko

This is where HRDC of Timothy Mtambo is needed to step in & not other things they were fighting for.

Happy socks
Guest
Happy socks

Seeing our brothers and sisters in this country suffering because of the leadership who are selling our souls just for k20000 this it clearly shows that our kids future is slavery, this Chinese must leave this country, I remember leaders like mogabe, Gaddafi and idi amin they didn’t take nonsense because of them protecting their country and the people on it

joseph
Guest
joseph

ZACHIBWANA INE NDIKADZAKHALA PULEZIDENT NDIDZATHETSA MAUFUMU

Sahara
Guest
Sahara

Kubetsa ma resources all because of K20, 000 yet the Chinese will make billions of $$. How stupid are we? One can really go crazy with what happens here in Malawi. Where is the tippex president? Oh! He is busy Kuba knowing he won’t be president any more.

Nambewe
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Nambewe

CORRUPTION!!! DESTROYING OUR COUNTRY! Pleas lets open our eyes. This firm is destroring our rivers our countryside and the health of people around the mining area. All rivers drain into Lake Malawi, if toxins are thrown into our fresh Rivers they all drain where our fish is and we will if we have not started already eat those toxins! 20,000 kwacha!!! PLEASE GOD HELP MALAWI OPEN ITS EYES!!!!!

winstonmsowoya
Guest
winstonmsowoya

MALAWIAN PEOPLE SEEM TO BE CONFUSED LIKE THEIR DERENGED LEADERS.CHINESE ARE NOT TRUSTED MONSTERS. SINCE THE SO-CALLED LEADERS OF AFRICA HAVE BEEN BRIBED MILLIONS OF DOLLARS BY THE SATANIC CHINESE,NOT ONLY MALAWIANS HAVE BEEN ROBBED OF THEIR RESOURCES AND THEIR GOD-GIVEN AFRICA BY THE SATANIC CHINESE,AFRICA IS FAST DROWNING ECONOMICALLY AND POLITICALLY.WHEN THESE MONSTERS WERE CONSTRUCTING TANZANIA-ZAMBIA RAILWAY,ON THEIR WAY,THESE BRUTES STOLE HANDREDS OF TONS OF GOLD AND DIAMONDS WHICH FOUND THEIR WAY TO CHINA.HASTINGS BANDA WENT ALONG WITH TAIWAN BECAUSE HE KNEW THAT CHINESE WERE DESTRUCTIVE BABOONS.MY FELLOW TUMBUKAS,DO AWAY WITH THE MONSTROUS CHINESE OTHERWISE YUO WILL DESTROY YOUR… Read more »

Gerrsom Mwale
Guest

ILOMBA GRANITE COMPANY OWNED BY AN INDIAN NAMED FIAZAL, IT IS NOT A CHINESE COMPANY. WE ENTIRELY NOT BENEFITED FROM THIS MINE. THIS INDIAN STOLE MUCH FROM US, NOW THE INDIAN USES THE CHINESE AS A TOOL AGAIN TO ROB US AGAIN. THIS GOVERNMENT IS MUCH CORRUPTED, THE MINES DEPARTMENT SHOULD CANCEL THIS PERMIT. BUT THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT DO IT, BCZ THEY ARE CORRUPTED.

Mtete
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Mtete

The Chinese know that Malawians, including the leadership are easy to bribe; they go nuts at the sight of money. Question is: what is ACB going to do because this is a classical example of corruption? Let’s wait and see.

Kapado Chimulirenji
Guest

ACB please do your job. Let both the Chinese and the Chiefs be arrested.

Michael
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Michael

Trust ACB???

Ulemu Banda
Guest
Ulemu Banda

The land just doesn’t belong to local chiefs. How about everyone else? What is MK20,000.00? This is one of the reasons I support that chieftainships should be abolished.

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