Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP), a civil rights arm of the Catholic Church Karonga Diocese has urged government to come out clearly on a law that will make sure that Malawians are benefiting from mining.
CCJP desk officer for Karonga Diocese Mwayi Shawa said this on Thursday during a workshop that was aimed at assessing capacity of district stakeholders in mining advocacy.
Shawa said it is a disgrace that since the Kayerekera mine was established, Malawians have not yet benefited.
“Some have benefited but they are a few. We expected that money that comes from mines goes direct to development systems which it neutralised to provide social services but as of now there is no any benefit.”
Shawa also faulted the procedure and mining law in the country saying it’s not clearly understood hence needs to be reviewed.
“The problem is we don’t have Mining Process Act which was adopted in 2014 and Malawians have not participated in managing natural resource and we will not benefit unless the law of mining is reviewed.
“My appeal to the government is they should come out with a clear law that will make sure that Malawians are taking part in mining.
“I know it’s a long process to change the law but as CCJP we will keep in touch with government to make sure that we are benefitting from Kayerekera mine,” Shawa said.
James Banda, a representative from youth organisations in Karonga agreed with Shawa saying that the project has brought untold misery in his area.
“We had dreams that this area would transform, my people would greatly benefit from the minerals but these are just dashed hopes,” said Banda.
Among organizations that took part in the meeting were youths, women groups from Karonga community based organisations (CBOs), media, CSO/NGOs interest groups and religious leaders. CCJP strives to advance for the truth and justice and ensure that all people of Malawi benefit from the commercialisation of the countries natural resources.
By Bright Mfune