Chitipa Chief Demands Compensation from Chinese Mining Firm
Senior Chief Kameme of Chitipa, where government has told a Chinese mining company it will not be renewing its license, says he will be demanding compensation from the company which has been running mining activities for a while now.
Only days ago, deputy mines minister Mungasulwa Mwambande, announced that government would not be renewing the mining license for a Ilomba Granite Company, a Chinese firm because it failed to provide corporate social responsibility.
The license for the company expires in June this year.
Senior Chief Kameme says he only got an apology over the phone for being dragged to court which he feels was not adequate.
“I have been infamous because of that court case,” he said adding “My people are not happy that the apology came through a phone call. They need physical apology”.
Senior Chief Kameme is one of the people who were recently sued by the company for alleged interference in the economic activities of the company.
The suit was withdrawn.
The mining firm was also asking the court to provide it with a permanent injunction that would bar the chief and others from stepping foot on the mine site.
Court documents that Zodiak Online has seen show that the company was demanding pay in damages for staff houses that angry communities burnt and compensation for loss of business at a time when mine operations were shut down.
Zodiak Online understands that the other people who were jointly sued by the company who include Chairperson for Chitipa business community Michael Masebo, Civil Society leaders Sydney Simwaka and Cossam Mnthali, Senior Group VillageHeadman Mbirima and concerned citizens of Chitipa are also contemplating taking the matter to court for alleged character assassination.
Ilomba Granite Company has been working in Chitipa for close to twenty five years with no provision of corporate social responsibility despite its promises on the same.
The downside has sparked hostilities from the residents of the district who have been demanding that it be evacuated from the district for a new investor to take over.
Government has finally taken heed of their demands.