Paladin says 5 arrested ‘threatened to sabotage’ Malawi uranium mine

Uranium miner, Paladin Resource Limited says the five of its employees at Kayelekera Uranium Mine in Karonga who are being held by Police had   threatened to damage the mine.

Nyasa Times earlier reported that the five, arrested last week Friday, were also  suspected of being linked to the theft of explosives worth US$5780.76 (about K2, 150, 600) belonging to China Road and Bridge Construction Company in Chitipa.

Paladin general manager for international relations Greg Walker claimed the employees were threatening to damage the company; after management reportedly refused to give them the demanded salary percentage increase.

The five, who are production plant operators, are reported to have threatened Kayelekera management that they would blow up the process plant if their salaries were not increased and foreign workers laid off.

Walker, Paladin's boss: They threatened  to damage the mine
Walker, Paladin’s boss: They threatened to damage the mine

“When people threaten to sabotage the mine, that is serious. They threatened to damage the company and police came in because the situation was serious,” said Walker,  in comments published in the press.

Nyasa Times reported that the five workers reportedly issued threats of bombing the mine through anonymous emails to Kayelekera General Manager, John Chandler.

Their threats coincided with the theft of explosives at a storage facility of the Chinese company, contractors of Karonga-Chitipa Road.

But Walker without necessarily confirming the bomb threats, said “they could have sabotaged the plant and many lives could have been lost”.

Karonga Police officer in-charge Foster Mangani said the  five “were called for caution statements.”

Mangani confirmed about the  “e-mail threats”, saying  “ as police, we came in to deal with it.”

According to our sources, the five have been identified as Sangwani Mtonga, Golden Chilenga and Matthews Mkandawire. Identities of the other two were not yet independently verified.

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