Mediation team resolves that Kanyika community be compensated
By Gloria Mbwana
The mediation team presiding over a case in which members of the Kanyika community in Mzimba are seeking compensation from Australian resources firm Globe Metals and Mining for disturbing their livelihoods through its planned venture to open a niobium mine in the area has resolved that the firm compensates the community members.
Church & Society Program for the Synod of Livingstonia Coordinator (Extractives) Paul Mvula says in a press statement the mediation team resolved that whosoever had land disturbed during Kanyika Niobium Project’s exploration phase needed to have been compensated.
In case some were not compensated, Globe Metals and Mining Company needs to compensate such households/individuals
According to Mvula’s statement, all parties to the case were present during the mediation process including the Kanyika community members, Office of the Attorney General, Globe Metals and Mining Company and their lawyers – Savjani and Company and the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining.
Mvula says the Kanyika Community has been asked to compile a list of all affected households/ individuals who were not compensated.
It came out clearly that some households/individual were subjected to exploration activities and did not get any compensation,
The parties are expected to meet again on November 15, 2018 at Mzuzu High Court to seal this agreement but also continue to discuss other unresolved issues.
On August 28, 2017, the Kanyika Community commenced an action in the High Court against Globe Metals and Mining as the first defendant and Malawi Government as the second defendant seeking constitutional and common law damages and compensation.
However, on September 11, 2017, the Attorney General, on behalf of the second defendant filed defence denying the Kanyika Community’s Claims.
The first defendant also filed its defence denying the allegation, and later the matter was referred for mediation.
ASX-listed Globe Metals and Mining completed its exploration work at Kanyika targeting niobium, tantalum and uranium.
The firm is currently negotiating for a development agreement with the Malawi government to start niobium mining.
The Kanyika Community consists of 1042 individuals—and their forefathers have occupied and used the customary land in the area since time immemorial; growing seasonal and perennial crops, rearing animals, residing within the area and maintaining cemeteries and burial sites to which they attach great sentimental, religious and cultural value.
An important river which they rely on for their water supply needs also passes through the prospecting area.
This piece was initially published in Malawi’s Mining & Trade Review Issue Number 66 (October 2018).