Corruption depriving Malawi of revenue from mining sector

Chairperson of the Natural Resources Justice Network (NRJN) Kossam Munthali says corruption continues to deprive Malawi of the much-needed of revenue collection from the mining sector.

Munthali made the remarks recently during a stakeholders’ meeting in Mangochi. The Malawi Economic Justice Network (MEJN) organized the meeting as part of the initiatives aimed to end inequality in the mining sector.

Natural Resources Justice Network chairperson Kossam Munthali alleged that there is “systematic and deep-rooted corruption” between some officials in government and investors.

“Malawi is struggling in issues of mining because of corruption. Let us help the government to move forward. Mangochi should start taking charge in minerals extracted within the district,” he said.

Chief Mining Engineer in the Ministry of Mining, George Maneya, who was the main speaker for the event, said the ministry is spearheading the functional review exercise even at the district level.

“We are undertaking a planned functional review and decentralization of the functions of the Ministry to all mineral hotspot districts including Mangochi, the establishment of an integrity committee aimed at coordinating anti-corruption efforts with the mining sector,” said Maneya.

He said the government, through the Ministry of Mining, is implementing several initiatives to revamp the sector.

He cited the revision and gazetting of the new license and services fees in the sector, establishment of a structured market through Reserve Bank of Malawi, establishment of the Mining Regulatory Authority to regulate the mining sector, rehabilitation and refurbishment of analytical laboratories as some of the initiatives designed to revitalize the sector.

“I must emphasize all these initiatives including the establishment of Integrity Committee aimed at coordinating anti-corruption efforts with the Ministry of Mining are aimed at aligning the mineral sector,” said Maneya.

In an interview, the Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) chairman for Mangochi district, Sheikh Fahadi Kamsuli, said he hopes that there will be sanity and economic boost if mineral resources are well utilized by the government.

Kamsuli said the opening of markets for minerals across the country will assure many people to sell minerals from within.

“There many illegal miners from Mozambique, Tanzania, Burundi and DR Congo who are benefiting a lot from minerals. Communities should be vigilant and report such incidents to chiefs and police. We have heard that by this September, the government will open up markets across the country on key hotspot locations for minerals, this will help the country,” he said.

However, Senior Group Village Head Saiti Mwansungu of Traditional Authority Makanjira bemoaned lack of consultation in the sector, saying the government rarely consults chiefs and communities on mining projects.

The Manager for Gold Buying Initiatives Export Development Fund, Fredric Chanza, said gold markets will be created across the country by September.

Chanza said Liwonde in Machinga and Mangochi are some of the districts earmarked for the gold markets.

Program Director of MEJN programme director Richard Chiputula said through a four–year project the network is implementing with funding from Norwegian Church Aid and Danish Church Aid (NCA-DCA), the network is working towards enhancing the responsiveness of duty-bearers to the right holder’s demand for fair and equitable financing and distribution of resources.

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