By Tione Andsen
Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have said mining sector need to take a proactive approach in order to improve the country economic development.
Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) National Coordinator, Boniface Chibwana said this Friday at Crossroads Hotel during the Agenda of CSOs Strategic meeting to consolidate Human Rights Policy and Legal Gaps in Extractive in Malawi.
He admitted that mining sector was facing with gaps in policy and legal frameworks which need to be address if the country was to benefit from it.
“If we are viewing that mining sector could be an alternative source of revenue for the country then various players in the industry need to take up their responsibilities head on,” Chibwana added.
The National Coordinator observed that the new mines and minerals Act was in place but has no regulations to enforce its implementation.
He said the country adopted decentralization policy which needs to be incorporated into the mining sector so that communities should be empowered to self guard their natural resources.
Chibwana added issues of human rights abuse are on the increase in some mines and there need to address them using the appropriate laws.
The Coordinator pointed out that local miners are being subjected under pay and are usually struggling to get paid in full and on time.
He said duty bearers need to be engaged in order to improve the lives and working conditions of mining companies in the country.
Chibwana noted that the mine sector does not belie in prompting transparency and accountability particularly when it comes to the issues of licensing and awarding of contracts to miners.
National Coordinator for Youth in Mining, Max Chikako bemoans lack of involvement of the youth in the mining sector and this was fueling unemployment rates in the country.
He said government should engage the youth in the development of the sector adding that the youth have the potential to move the industry in order to realize the Malawi 2063.