Muluzi backs Karonga concerns against Paladin: ‘Malawi govt is for the people’

Malawi Minister of Natural Resource Energy and Mines Atupele Muluzi has leapt to the defence local non-government organisations (NGOs) and individuals in Karonga for bravely demanding that there is strict adhearance of health and safety to the people of the district by uranium miner Paladin.

Muluzi accompanied by Kyungu reading one of the banners by the locals against Paladin.-Photo by Tiwonge Kumwenda, Nyasa Times

Muluzi accompanied by Kyungu reading one of the banners by the locals against Paladin.-Photo by Tiwonge Kumwenda, Nyasa Times

Muluzi at Paladin during the visit.-Photo by Tiwonge Kumwenda, Nyasa Times

Muluzi at Paladin during the visit.-Photo by Tiwonge Kumwenda, Nyasa Times

Paladin pipe going to sere river

Paladin pipe going to sere river

Muluzi in a group photo with Malcoal officials. -Photo by Tiwonge Kumwenda, Nyasa Times

Muluzi in a group photo with Malcoal officials. -Photo by Tiwonge Kumwenda, Nyasa Times

Muluzi visiting the mine sITE.- Photo by Tiwonge Kumwenda, Nyasa Times

Muluzi visiting the mine sITE.- Photo by Tiwonge Kumwenda, Nyasa Times

Speaking during the interface meeting with the locals at Meghemo hall in Karonga northern district on Thursday evening, Muluzi conceded that the situation at Paladin’s Kayerekela mine project is “worrying.”

He said government need to intervene and also called for international investigation into the project over claims that Paladin’s mine has become a threat to the people’s life.

“Government is for the people and it take the welfare of Malawians as the first priority, now in answering to your question especially on the current status of things at Kayelekera mine, the truth is that things are not in good condition and as am talking tomorrow I will call for an emergency meeting with top concerned officials in various departments to find a way forward on dealing with the problems at the Company,” said Muluzi during the town hall meeting.

” Government’s job is to address the situation and to protect the interests of Malawians,” he added.

Muluzi  gave Paladin a 10-day ultimatum to submit a comprehensive report detailing how the tank containing lime and sand sediments burst to its seams due to the storm.

“Investigations must continue. There were mistakes that were made and we must learn from them to avoid a repeat of what has happened. We must get to the bottom of this,” Muluzi said.

He said government will ensure its people are protected and t it takes claims that the Kayelekera mine has begun discharging waste materials into the local river system, seriously and investigations are underway.

“We will fast track the investigations and results will be known to the public. We will make sure that Paladin Company takes full responsibility if anything goes wrong in Karonga,” said Muluzi.

He added: “It is also sad that people are being denied the access to see for themselves the status of things at the company despite being in their own land.

“Next month we are signing the deal with all mining companies that there should be transparency in all mining premises so that everyone should be able to verify, on top of that all the secretive agreements will be made open to the public because those documents are for the people.”

Muluzi stressed that government is committed towards “eliminating the veil of secrecy which overshadows the mining sector .”

He said: “We are striving for greater transparency in the sector even before we sign up to the Extractive Industry Transparency International next month.”

Paladin denied it discharged polluted water into a river, the company said local non-government organisations and individuals openly hostile to the company had made false statements.

The Malawi general manager for Paladin,  Greg Walker said the company has done necessary tests and put in place measures to contain the leakage.

The company explained that while it did plan to commence the controlled release of surplus water into the local river system during the monsoonal wet season, the water would be treated to meet Malawi and internationally recognised discharge standards, including World Health Organisation drinking water guidelines for uranium content.

However Paladin said that relatively light and infrequent rainfall meant no water has been treated and released to date.

Parliamentary deputy chairperson of Natural Resource and Climate Change Committee Alex Major expressed his displeasure y with the current situation at the company and that he will take the matter to Parliament.

“I am also very shocked with the situation I have seen after monitoring the mine here and all my questions to the Paladin boss have not been answered satisfactory , “ said Major.

Major said claims about toxic water being discharged into the river have basis.

Kayelekera mine has been in care and maintenance since February 2014 .

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Chisomo
Guest
Reading through some of the comments makes me really wonder if some people have brains at all. This is a serious matter affecting everyone in the country, from the North, South, East or West. The truth of the matter is that Uranium is radio active , it be in small quanties or not. In the late 60’s there were a lot of people living in that same area dyeing of illnesses that were supposedly associated with witchcraft, babies being born with deformities. The government then did some tests and it was found that it was uranium and measures where put… Read more »
patrick kaluwa
Guest

koma amuluzi chonde kukasala chika kuti tivote tisazamve kuti mwachoka uku kumanena kuti dpp sichipani mludyeleratu panopa

chinkombaleza gumanyundo gowa
Guest
chinkombaleza gumanyundo gowa

Atupele dont talk politics talk scientific facts about paladin and the leakage. YOU MAY BE GIVING FALSE IMPRESSION TO THE PEOPLE. YOU TELL THEM THE TRUTH ABOUT THE SITUATION THAT YOU SAW. wHERE IS KANGANKUNDE MINE YOU WERE ESTABLISHING WITH YOUR FATHER AND OTHERS OF ASIAN MALAWIAN ORIGIN? THE FACT IS KARONGA PEOPLE ARE FEARING NOTHING.

Bwampini wa Muthanyura
Guest
Bwampini wa Muthanyura

Meanwhile fish continue to die in the northern part of Lake Malawi.

CAPE FLATS
Guest

DEM OFF……ASATIONENGERE DZIKO AWA ….MATAFALE ANAIMBA NGATI KKKK

Kikikiki
Guest
Primarily, Paladin is responsible for any Radiactive spills because of its gross negligence and reckless conduct which is a huge health threat to the public and environmental associates. ~would think Cost-cutting decisions have caused this marine and environmental catastrophic. One could only believe Insufficient Safety System in place. Absent significant reform from both Paladin Investors and Government policies. A very big blind eye! ~Even low-level radiation exposure if prolonged can lead to an increased rate of Cancers. This is seriously healthy threats to the general public and environment. As a result, criminal offenses based on the consequences from lethal uranium… Read more »
osiah Shora
Guest

Why saying ZANU INU A TUMBUKA his is just to find a solution not insulting one another let LOVE prevail in the country of Malawi as one nation

Salary harmonization
Guest

John Bande used to blindly back Paladin for selfish reasons. Look now at the young and visionary Muluzi. Excellent Atupele Muluzi

GOVERNOR Frank
Guest

just busy for nothing we dont want to be quite

KING SOLOMONS PALACE
Guest
MY QUESTION-WAS ATUPELE MULUZI ACOMPANIED BY RELEVANT RADIATION TESTING/ENVIRONMENTAL EXPARTS?DID ATUPELE AND TEAM TAKE ANY SAMPLES FISH DEAD OR ALIVE?ANY REPRESENTATIVE FROM BEAURAL OF STANDARDS?HAVE THE PEOPLE DOWNSTREAM BEEN TESTED FOR POSSIBLE EXPOSURE?THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE DONE URGENTLY OR ELSE ATUPELES VISIT ENDS UP TO BE MERE POLITICAL MILAGE.WE MALAWIANS DEMAND FROM OUR MINISTER TOXICOLOGICAL TESTS IMMEDIATELY AND NOT MERE TALK.HAPPY NEW YR MR MINISTER THE SCIENCTIFIC COMMUNITY THE WORLD OVER HAS PUT MALAWI IN THE SPORTLIGHT- WATCHING HOW U MINISTER R HANDLIN THIS MATTER.IF U POLITICISE IT MR MULUZI ,THE NUCLEAR WASTE ITSELF WILL JUDGE U AND THE… Read more »

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