Mining, Defence ministries sign MOU to promote, safeguard mines
Ministries of Mining and Defence have signed an agreement to promote sustainable mining and safeguarding national security.
Minister of Mining Monica Chang’amuno said on Wednesday in Lilongwe during the signing ceremony that Malawi is endowed with abundant and diverse mineral resources which can significantly contribute to the national economic growth and development.
Chang’anamuno therefore said there is need to jealously safeguard the God-given resources from the hands of illegal miners and mineral smugglers who also potentially jeopardize the national security.
“Government will continue working very closely with security agencies, including the National Intelligence Service, the Malawi Immigration Service, the Malawi Police Service and the Malawi Defence Force in order to curb illegal mining and mineral smuggling in this country,” she said.
She added that the government attaches great importance and strong commitment to mining through various initiatives aimed at establishing a conducive environment for the mineral sector growth and development.
Chang’amuno appealed to all the stakeholders, in both public and private sector, including development partners, to support her Ministry’s effort in order to realize a modern, efficient and effective mining sector, which is able to significantly contribute to the economy of this country.
The MOU is expected to enhance security of the mining industry from the illegal miners that are excavating the precious stones in Malawi.
In his remarks, the Minister of Defence, Harry Mkandawire, assured Malawians that MDF will carry out joint activities with ministry of mining in safeguarding minerals by curbing illegal mining.
“This agreement will also help MDF enforce sustainable mining practices from both artisan and big miners,” he said.
Deputy Commander of the MDF Lieutenant General, Paul Phiri, said the soldiers are ready to protect Malawi’s precious minerals without fear or favour.