By: Vincent Gunde
The Dowa District Council has passed a resolution suspending mining operations and processes in the district until such a time the miners present their findings to the full council meeting.
Pic: Dowa District Council’s offices….passes a resolution of suspending mining operations…..
Illegal mining of precious minerals such as Graphite in T/A Chiwere, Gypsan in T/A Mponela and Green tomalin in T/A Kayembe , has been taking place since 2017 with capital hill linking the miners to the communities directly.
Speaking during a full council meeting held at the boma, Member of Parliament for Dowa East, Hon Richard Chimwendo Banda, advises the council to respect decisions made by the house saying the council is composed of councilors, chiefs and MPs .
Hon Chimwendo expressed a concern over the council’s having no information on the mining industry taking place in the district describing all the processes the miners are following as illegal, blaming the community’s ignorance as contributing to the illegal mining of precious minerals in the district.
The MP recalled that 3 years ago there was a review of the Kawuniwuni project claiming that Malawians do not know the results only to see foreigners coming to explore and extracting the minerals.
He lamented that the mining is taking place without the council’s knowledge saying the miners are the ones benefiting more as evidenced by the miners by- passing the council to deal with the communities directly.
Hon. Chimwendo said some communities have been promised compensations ranging from K600,000- K2 million for hectares of land believed to have the minerals and beacons have been erected.
He asked the Ministry of Mines officials to come to the district to explain to the council members the profit to the communities, district and the country as a whole saying samples cannot be extracted from an area of over 20 hectares.
On his part, Dowa West parliamentarian, Dr. Ephraim Abel Kayembe, asked the council members to rise up and serve the district from environmental damage saying Dowa should not be another Kayerekera.
Inkosi Chiwere informed the members that at one meeting in his area, the miners chased away the Group village heads only allowing those who have land containing the minerals to attend , describing all the processes followed in the mining of minerals in his area as basing on corruption and illegal claiming that as the chief of the area, no miner has stepped his foot at his house.