A security guard of Leston Mulli, one of Malawi’s most politically connected businesspersons during the Bingu wa Mutharika regime, on Friday shot dead a man identified by police as Nangwale from Tchaluwa village in Mulanje when he went to mount Mulanje near Chitakale Tea plantation for charcoal burning.
Chitakale tea plantation belongs to Mulli.
The guard on instructions to ‘shoot-to-kill’ those trespassing, pulled the trigger on the deceased who wanted to burn charcoal for selling in order to earn a living.
Making charcoal provides a much-needed livelihood for many in the area.
Police in Mulanje confirmed about the shooting and said they are investigating the matter.
Mulli virtually controls Mulanje Mountain as his Mulli Brothers got a 10-year licence “to develop and provide eco-tourism services in Mulanje Mountain Forest Reserve up to 2018 from June 2008.”
Ministry of Environmental Affairs confirmed it received reports of how the company is ill-treating the communities around the licensed area and that the licence was granted without tendering and the conditions in the licence are not adhered to.
The licence states that Mulli Brothers shall ensure that communities accessing benefits from the area in one way or another and continue to do so in harmony and the company could enter into partnership agreement with communities under the facilitation of the Department of Forestry.
The 10-year licence, starts from July 1 2008 and expires in 2018 and allocates 1 860.3 hectares of Mulanje Mountain Forest Reserve to Mulli Brothers.