Parliament’s committee on Natural Resources has told government to suspend mining activities in the country until all corruption allegations in the industry are thoroughly investigated.
The committee members made the recommendation on Thursday after meeting different stakeholders including Illomba, Lotus mining company, Civil Society Organizations, mining ministry and department of parks and wildlife.
The committee’s chairperson Welani Chilenga said the government should first investigate corruption in the mining sector and bring to book officials involved.
He said it is sad that Malawi is failing to benefit from the mining industry despite the industry being rich in resources.
“The ministry of mining has failed Malawians, illegal mining is all over and sadly only foreign nationals are benefiting, until they put their house in order then they can resume mining activities,” said Chilenga.
The committee has further recommended to government not to renew Illomba mining license as current operator has failed to fulfil agreement made with the community and is failing to submit audit reports.
Chairperson of the Natural Resources Justice Network Kossam Munthali has backed the commitee’s recommendation saying it is time for the mining sector to be sanitized.
But Joseph Mkandawire, Principal Secretary in the ministry of mining feels suspending all mining activities as proposed by the chairperson is not the best solution.
He said the ministry is currently working on bringing small scale miners into cooperatives to work efficiently and in line with the law.