Concerned citizens meets Sadc leaders over mineral exploration on Mulanje Mountain

Disgruntled Mulanje concerned citizens, a grouping which is against mineral and rare earth exploration activities on Mulanje Mountain in sourthern Malawi, will present their concerns they raised against Spring Stone Limited carrying the activities to the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) Heads of State and government on Friday in Lilongwe.

Heads of State and Government in the region are meeting in Malawi’s capital for the 33rd Sadc Summit.

Sadc Heads of State will meet with the concerned citizens and others from member states on Friday and Saturday.

The group has been at logger heads with Spring Stone Limited, a company that is exploring rare earth elements on the mountain. They gave the company and Mulanje Mountain Conversation Trust (MMCT) ultimatum of seven days to stop their “destructive” activities or face action.

The concerned citizens also warned “they will have to any other option but to use other available traditional means to make these companies leave the mountain.

Kalindo: We don't wnat mining at Mulanje Mountain
Kalindo: We don’t wnat mining at Mulanje Mountain

But the companies continued carrying out mineral exploration activities, thereby irking further the grouping.

The group’s spokesperson Bon Kalindo told Nyasa Times that they have been invited by Sadc Heads of State so they can appreciate their concerns on the matter.

Kalindo said he was glad that the concerns landed in the ears of the Sadc Heads of State, let alone sparing their time to discuss the matter.

“Our position is clear; we don’t want these companies. They have plundered the mountain and we are just hoping that Sadc Heads of State will see some senses in what we have been saying all this while,” said Kalindo, also known as ‘Winiko’ in showbiz.

Meanwhile, Action Aid International has indicated that over $160 million is lost annually in the regions due poor deals and unreasonable tax holidays granted to multinational companies.

Addressing journalists in Lilongwe where the Sadc summit is taking place, Action Aid International (AAI) also said there harmful tax incentives and lack of proper guidelines to check the malpractices.

While the tax holidays are aimed at luring investors, AAI said these investors should be told that Sadc is not a tax holiday destination.

As such, there is need to put in place clear guidelines that will help improve the lives of poor in people in the region.

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