Barely days after a heated private members motion was moved in parliament which tackled preferential political treatment to Malawians of Asian origin doing business in the country, a legislator wants to push Sunseed Oil Company Limited in Lilongwe to pay for endangering communities around it through careless disposal of factory waste.
The Environmental Affairs Department closed Sunseed Oil Company for failing to comply with environmental standards on disposal of effluent.
Sunseed Oil has always been a culprit in this game of illegal dumping of wastes that pollutes communities.
Blantyre City South legislator Sameer Suleman who has been vocal against Asian Business Community wants to push to ensure compensation for the people of Chitukula area who have lost crops and livestock due to the oil spillage which has now reached very unbearable proportion.
Suleman feels that Sunseed Oil is being shielded by the Department of Environment Affairs after the managing director of Globe Group of Companies, Waheed Kassam, had an audience with the President Lazarus Chakwera to help his company, run by his son, hence being treated with kid gloves.
Sunseed official Irshaad Mahomed has also been boasting of being too close to Chakwera, hence being untouchable.
According to Suleman, in keeping with the spirit of clearing the old and new rubble, the legislators cannot go on watching the future of the country being destroyed by rogue companies that stagger around with false sense of invincibility.
“Sunseed must compensate the communities,” he said.
Sunseed Oil Company has been time and again advised to bring robust containment gulleys and dams within their factory, to fully control the waste.
Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) executive secretary David Nungu confirmed that the matter has been investigated and that the rights of the villagers to a clean environment, safe and clean drinking water and economic activity are being violated by the company discharging the waste on them.
Commentators commended Environmental Affairs Department for their action on Sunseed Oil Company, saying profit seekers have gotten away with environmental atrocities the laws abhor.
More than 150 villagers in the area are in grave danger of suffering—and even dying—from various diseases, as they are forced to drink what an environmental expert says is heavily-contaminated water.
Section 60 of the Environmental Management Act of 2017 empowers Environmental Affairs Department to close companies that pollute.
Sunseed Oils is a company that manufactures cooking oil such as Mulawe and Sungold. It also manufactures Sunsoap and Mulawe salt.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :