Mining gurus mourn gemstone association president
Players in the gemstone industry have expressed shock over the death of President of the Gemstone Association of Malawi (GAM) John Chikokoto who passed away on Thursday, May 24 at Mtengowanthenga Mission Hospital in Dowa.
National Coordinator for GAM Xina Lungu described the loss of Chikokoto as shocking saying the GAM President was a man with great honor in the mining sector, having headed a number of positions in different mining associations.
Lungu said Chikokoto also ably represented GAM in various local and international conferences, and gemstone exhibitions.
A pillar has fallen in the mining sector. In him we had a library of gemology findings. He was a campus always giving direction and now it is a difficult task we are faced with. GAM is wounded. GAM is grieved,
Lungu added that the late chikokoto as President served with diligence and honor, made them love gemstones and led the way in the search for the treasure that could boost the economy of the country.
Joining several people who expressed their condolences through Facebook were Deputy Director of the Department of Mines Atileni Wona another official of the Mines Department Gibson Nyirenda and Coordinator for Chamber of Mines and Energy Grain Malunga.
The death of Chikokoto is a very sad development for the Gemstone industry. He was like a father to me,
On his part, Department of Mines (DoM) Director Jalf Salima described the passing of Chikokoto as a big loss to the mining sector, saying the man had great passion for gemstones.
He was a fountain of knowledge in as far as gemstones business was concerned and he was always ready to share his knowledge and provided advice whenever needed,
Apart from being GAM President, Chikokoto also served as the chair of Blantyre Gemstone Association for a couple of years.
He was also in the group of small-scale miners who, a couple of years ago, were sponsored by FDH Bank to showcase their products at the Investing in Arica Mining indaba in Cape Town, South Africa Chikokoto succumbed to cancer and was laid to rest at his home village, Mambala near Ntcheu boma.
He is survived by eight children and 14 grandchildren.
This piece was initially published in Malawi’s Mining & Trade Review Issue Number 62 (June 2018).