Malawi Congress Party (MCP) says it will review all laws and policies pertaining to minerals and other resources so that Malawians benefit once it forms the next government after the May 20 polls.
MCP also said it will also review legislation and policies on land to ensure equity and productive usage.
MCP Vice President Richard Msowoya said this during a newss conference at Karonga Boma on Friday after he presented his nomination papers for the Karonga Nyungwe parliamentary seat.
“We will do this after a broad consensus because Mining is a priority internationally and a major contributor to countries’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” Msowoya said.
In this regard Msowoya said MCP will review the Kayelekera Uranium Mining contract. The Mine’s owner Paladin Energy Limited has always maintained that its contract with the Malawi government is none negotiable for a period of 15 years.
”Nothing is cast in stone. We will review whether the company has been making losses along and then help it make profits. We will also look at whether our environment has not been comprised,” Msowoya said.
Ironically, Malawi’s Mines and Minerals Act of Malawi, which is still in force today, was enacted during the single party era of late Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda on 1st July 1981.
Kamuzu Banda was the iconic life President of the party until his demise in 1997.
“The entire property in, and control over, minerals in land in Malawi are vested in the President on behalf of the people of Malawi; but without prejudice to the exercise of any right under or pursuant to this Act’ is still in force,” reads part of the Act.
Msowoya said MCP will also do the same on land.
In Malawi, land allocations are government-managed through local Chiefs as custodians or traditional authorities of the customary land. The Chiefs distribute the land in their jurisdictions according to local dictates and traditions – in theory.
More often than not chiefs negotiate under-the-table deals under the guise of ‘development’ projects.
In August 2013, Malawi’s Parliament passed the Land Bill, which, among other things seeks to set new conditions for land ownership, and convert foreign-owned freehold land to leasehold.
However, the President has so far – allegedly – resisted assenting it into law as it would transfer the ‘eminent domain’ from the Head of State to the State itself.
“Our Kwacha slogan is a wakeup call for Malawians to work hard in whatever sector they are involved and we will empower them to do so. Malawi has stagnated in terms of socio-economic development. That means Malawians must become more productive,” Msowoya said.
On education he said, MCP will pursue a policy of unhindered access to education.
“No student must be told that he or she cannot continue with education for no other reason apart from dismal performance. We will expand access to education,” the MCP Veep said.
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