The group, calling themselves as ‘Mulanje concerned citizens’ has given mining explorers including Spring Stone Limited, a company that is exploring rare earth elements on Mulanje Mountain, seven days to stop its activities or face action.
On Tuesday, the concerned citizens, who were led by comedian Bon Kalindo and Mulanje Pasani legislator Peter Nowa, staged protests against mining activities on the mountain and they marched from Chitakale Trading Centre to the district’s council offices where they presented a petition to district commissioner Jack Ngulube.
“We demand the removal of these companies within seven days and failure to do so will mean going against our rights and freedom of expression as stipulated in our constitution.
“We will have no nay other option but to use other available means to make these companies leave the mountain,” reads the petition, which Ngulube promised to relay to the relevant authority through the Office of the President and Cabinet.
Kalindo also warned that they will go for “available traditional means” against the mining explorers.
The protests have resurfaced despite Blantyre High Court’s permission allowing Spring Stone Limited to continue with mineral exploration activities on the mountain.
In December 2012, the concerned citizens obtained a court injunction restraining the company from carrying out such activities.
They argued that the company was engaged in environmentally destructive mining activities which are detriment of the local communities.
But the company resumed mineral exploration activities in March this year after the High Court discharged the injunction, observing that the company was operating in accordance with the terms and conditions of its Licence under a commitment to cause minimum disturbance of the environment at Chambe Basin and surrounding areas.