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Sunday, 28 March 2010

Empty statements...

A Presidential directive to the Minister of Mines Maxwell Mwale :

Re-opening Munali Nickel Mine, which is majority owned by Chinese Jinchuan Mining Group, on Friday, President Banda said his government was keen to ensure that local communities directly derive benefits arising from investment in their areas. He directed the minister of mines Maxwell Mwale to closely monitor the performance of each mining company to ensure that the mines were benefiting the locals.
Just how is Mr Mwale going to fulfill this new directive? What levers does Mr Mwale have that will ensure that local mining companies "benefit the locals"? There's nothing on the statute books that could deliver what the President is asking for - we have long argued this point. In fact the only  legislative measure that ensures local authorities benefit is found in the Mines and Mineral Development Act 2008 (para 136) : "The Minister responsible for Finance shall, in consultation with the Minister [responsible for Mines], a mineral royalty sharing scheme for distributing royalty revenues".  This has nothing to do with mining companies. It has everything do with the failure of government to implement its own legislation as Hon Joseph Katema MP and others continue to note.

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