The Natural Resources Justice Network has demanded deportation of the three foreign nationals who were convicted on charges of illegal mining and being found in possession of minerals without license.
The call comes after three miners Song Chen Jian 50, Lihuaqi, 31, and Lin Long, 42, were convicted and ordered to pay a K21million fine for mining without government licence.
However, the three Chinese nationals are free people having paid the fine, a development which has angered Natural Resources Justice Network who are demanding that such foreign nationals should be deported once convicted.
“The convicted Chinese have compromised their visa stay in Malawi, therefore, they must be deported,” said Kossam Munthali, the network’s chairperson.
In a statement issued Thursday, Munthali said the three Chinese national do not deserve to continue living in Malawi. He also called for investigations into the alleged fake documents that the three possessed to carry out mining activities.
“Let the root or the source of the fake licenses also be investigated as we keep monitoring the situation,” said Munthali
He demanded that Malawians should report to authorities all illegal mining activities in their areas so that the suspects are taken to task.
He said the ruling on the Chinese nationals is a motivation to people to fight illegal mining, adding citizens should be in the forefront in protecting the precious resources.
The network suspects that some government officials are also playing a role in such illegal mining activities.
In an interview, Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mines spokesperson Sangwani Phiri said the Ministry was satisfied with the sentences that the court had given.
He said the sentences are stiffer enough and will help curb similar illegal mining activities. “We commended the Judiciary for the stiffer penalties and we hope that will be the trend for those found guilty of illegal mining,” said Phiri.