Mulanje business community attack Winiko

A group of prominent business men in Mulanje Thursday presented a petition to Mulanje District Commissioner Jack Nguluwe restraining the call by Concerned Citizens of Mulanje to have Mount Mulanje Conservation Trust (MMCT) offices closed indefinitely due to what the Concerned Citizen’s spokesperson Bon Kalindo, aka Winiko,  MP calls lack of cooperativeness.

Speaking after presenting the petition, Maxwell Mmadi who is spokesperson for the grouping, said the behaviour of Kalindo is not only unacceptable but also criminal.

A group of Mulanje citizens who petitioned DC against Winiko
A group of Mulanje citizens who petitioned DC against Winiko

“We are not happy with the behaviour of Mr. Kalindo. He is claiming that he is representing concerned citizens yet his grouping comprises disgruntled individuals from Likhubula area. The mountain stretches from Mulanje to Phalombe therefore his claims are unfounded,” said Mmadi.

In the petition, the group said it is embarrassing to note that Kalindo’s behaviour contradicts government efforts to bring in investors.

The group further said Mulanje Mountain Conservation Trust assists communities in Mulanje and Phalombe in many ways like sponsorship of football and netball, empowering bee keepers and also electrification of Bondo village among others.

“We want MMCT offices to be opened by tomorrow. Mr. Kalindo has, since he started his campaign, been advocating for the closure of the offices,” said Mmadi.

MMCT offices were closed Monday following the order by the Concerned Citizens. MMCT is an environmental endowment trust funded by the World Bank through the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) that provides long-term reliable support for biodiversity research, the conservation of biological diversity and the sustainable utilisation of natural resources of the Mulanje Mountain Forest Reserve.

According to Kalindo, there was an agreement that required MMCT to always involve the concerned citizens in all activities carried out on the mountain, but it was discovered that the organisation started working on the mountain without any consultations with the Concerned Citizens.

Kalindo claimed that MMCT instead of conserving Mulanje Mountain, the organisation has been damaging the mountain in various ways.

“Yes, we have closed the MMCT offices. We do not want them here in Mulanje. Whatever, the science they claimed to be practising in the mountain, they should go and practice it elsewhere,” said Kalindo.

MMCT projects Officer David Nangoma said  “there is a combination of ignorance and personal interest in the whole issue”, arguing that Kalindo’s conduct does not befit a honourable lawmaker.

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