Chinese miner puts chiefs on payroll

A Chinese mining firm in Chitipa pays 21 chiefs in the district a monthly ‘allowance’ despite locals accusing the company of failing to implement corporate social responsibility programmes.

Center for Investigative Journalism in Malawi (CIJM) reported that Ilomba Mining Company which mines gemstone gives K20,000 to each of 21 chiefs under Traditional Authority Mwawulambya.

The Chief’s spokesperson Group Village Headman Chizale confirmed the monthly payments saying it is the company’s way of showing gratitude to the chiefs for their role in the communities.

“We tried to reject the money but the miner said as elders we had to receive it so that our relationship should continue growing from strength to strength,” GVH Chizale said.

The revelations come amid concerns by locals that the company has failed to implement development projects which it promised to carry out before its licence expires this year.

According to the locals, some of the projects include construction of a clinic, an electric transformer, five boreholes, a teacher’s house and a graveled road from the mine to Kasisi turnoff.

The locals have been accusing the company of bribing the chiefs in order to stop them from demanding the projects.

In December, the mining company was forced to close its mine for a week following protests by community members.

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One Comment

  1. how can the malawi government allow this to happen?
    Those chinese must develop the area or country not paying k20,000 to chiefs and then become happy.
    K20,000 is less than R500,hahaha! these chinese they take you for granted and think that you are desperate.
    If i was the minister of energy and mining,i would have told those chinese to develop the country or else they must go back to china.
    This is why most of the countries in africa are not developed because the government officials or ministers when they see white people they tremble and just accept nonsense.
    There are so many things needs to be developed in malawi and if we accept stupid things like this,when is malawi going to be well developed.Every year there are thousands of students finishing in universities and then what???

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