Paladin pleased with Malawi’s peaceful transition

Uranium miner, Paladin Energy has lauded the peaceful transition of power in Malawi following the death of late President Bingu wa Mutharika in office.

The company’s managing director John Borshoff said in a statement made available to Nyasa Times that Malawi has “demonstrated its stability and the strength of its commitment to democratic principles at a time of national crisis.”

The statement adds: “It is a great credit to Malawi that this should occur.”

Joyce Banda is sworn in at her inauguration on April 7, 2012 as Malawi’s new president, becoming its first female leader in a ceremony in the capital Lilongwe. Joyce Banda was on Saturday sworn in as Malawi’s first woman president and told her supporters there was “no room for revenge” after the divisive Bingu wa Mutharika died in office. AFP PHOTO / STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN

The investors welcomed Malawi’s new President Joyce Banda Banda’s ascendancy to power after uncertainty over the delays in announcing Mutharika’s death.

The 61-year-old was sworn in smoothly on Saturday just hours after officials confirmed the death of Mutharika whose rule had sparked alarms over democratic freedoms and economic mismanagement.

“Paladin notes with regret the death of the President of Malawi, Dr Bingu wa Mutharika, on Thursday, 5th April 2012, following a heart attack. The Company offers its sincere condolences to the Government and people of Malawi, who have begun a 10-day period of mourning for the late President,” said Borshoff in the statement.

“As the most significant international investor in Malawi, Paladin is pleased to note the adherence of Malawi to its constitutional conventions and the smooth transition of power which occurred with the swearing-in of Mrs Banda as President,” he added.

Borshoff said Paladin looks forward to “continuing to enjoy a close and cordial working relationship” with the Government of Malawi under its new President.

Paladin mines uranium in Malawi’s northern Karonga district at Kayelekera.

The company had a tough year in 2011 which has seen it write down the value of Kayelekera because of weaker uranium prices.

The Governor of Malawi’s Reserve Bank, Perks Ligoya was on record last year saying Malawi government had been overly generous in its initial talks with Paladin and planned to renegotiate terms.

Ligoya later apologised for making the comments and clarified his remarks.

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