Malawi has been unable to collect 15 percent Non-residence Tax in the royalty payments of the Kayelekera Uranium Mining deal due to negligence as the country lost geological information for the mine , forcing Paladin Africa Limited to buy it outside the country, it has been reported
In 1999 when Paladin started negotiating the uranium mining project in Malawi it went to the Department of Mines to ask for Geological information kept by government but the department cold somehow not trace it because it was misplace.
According to a report in the Malawi News, the miner revealed when its officials met government as well as Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) officials that they eventually got the information from the US firm, PRI, which sold it the Geological Information at US$10,000.00 (about K3,973,583.63). PRI also agree with Paladin that the uranium company would be paying royalties to it.
Paladin’s General Manager responsible for international affairs, Greg Walker told the paper that the uranium miner was forced to purchase a copy of the required database from PRI.
“[Paladin] has been unable to acquirer the geological stabase which is a key intellectual property of the business and Malawi has been unable to collect a 15 percent Non-Residence Tax on the royalty payment, which continues to be paid by [Paladin’s] parent company from Australia,” Walker said.
There is growing belief among some sections of the society that Malawi is losing out on the Kayerekera mining and have since called on the government to renegotiate the deal.
Leader of Malawi’s opposition People’s Transformation Party (Petra) Kamuzu Chibambo — who is also a prominent lawyer— said unless the deal were renegotiated, Malawi would continue to lose out in the mining sector and called upon all Malawians to galvanise their voices to press government to enter into negotiation with the miners.
Karonga Business Community, a local non-governmental organisation, also threatened to hold demonstrations against the mine if their demands, among them turning Karonga District Hospital into a referral facility, were not met.
Civil society activists and Members of Parliament have in past also urged government to re-negotiate its contract with PAL., which owns 85 percent of Kayelekera Mine. Government owns the remaining 15 percent.