Malawi Government has declared that it will not renew the operating licence for Ilomba Mining Company in Chitipa.
Deputy Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Mwangasula Mwambande disclosed this on Friday during a meeting which the deputy minister and four cabinet ministers held with Indigenous Business Community in Chitipa District.
The meeting aimed at sharing concerns over slow growth in infrastructure development in the Northern Region.
Mwambande made the declaration when responding to a concern by community members that the company dragged Traditional Authority Kameme of the district to court for fighting for the rights of his people.
“Government is equally concerned with the conduct of the Chinese Mining firm for dragging our Senior Chief to court, that is not our traditional belief,” the deputy Minister said.
Jou Chanhe, Ilomba Mining Limited Company’s Executive Director refused to comment on the issue when asked for his reaction.
“I cannot comment on the issue because I have not received any communication from government,” he said
Ministers who attended the meeting included Jappie Mhango for Health, Ralph Jooma for Transport, Symon Vuwa Kaunda for Land and Housing and Mark Botomani for Communications.
The participants also discussed the Mbilima road connecting to Tanzania which is said to contribute significantly to the economic growth of the country.
The community members recently demanded the closure of a Malawi Revenue Authority office saying government should construct the Mbilima road.
Transport minister Jooma said government will embark on a number of road construction projects in this year’s financial budget.
Commenting on the development, Chairperson of the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) for Chitipa Sydney Simwaka raised suspicion over the meeting saying the ministers were masquerading as a regional committee for the Indigenous Business Community (IBM).