The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) regional chairperson for the South, Masauko Thawe, has denied reports that the Chinese investor has hired him to facilitate the fast-tracking of a mining license at the Department of Mining.
The Natural Resources Justice Network (NRJN) leadership, led by Kossam Munthali, recently criticized Thawe for allegedly trying to influence the licensing of the mining activities at the site during his recent visit to Chitipa.
Apparently, the HRDC executive member toured the district to participate in this year’s Human Rights Day activities.
It is reported that whilst there, Thawe met traditional leaders who sought his advice on human rights issues.
He also visited the mining site where he met the yet-to-be identified Chinese investor.
This did not go down well with Munthali and other community leaders who suspected that Thawe wanted to influence the decisions of the traditional leaders towards the Chinese investor who is hated in the district.
But Thawe, in a separate interview with Nyasa Times, refuted the allegations, saying he had no business in the mining issues.
“I just visited the site out of curiosity and that is where I met this Chinese investor and his consultant. We only greeted him and that’s all. I didn’t go to Chitipa to do mining business; NO! I went there to attend the Human Rights Day activities,” he said.
“Besides, I didn’t go to Chitipa on an HRDC ticket. I went there as a human rights activist representing the organization I work for in Blantyre. So, my visit to the site has nothing to do with HRDC interfering with the mining issues at Ilomba,” added Thawe.