Kanyika residents in Mzimba District have taken government and Globe Metals and Mining Company to court for failing to compensate them after they were asked to relocate to pave the way for establishment of a niobium mine in the area.
Private practice lawyers, Victor Gondwe and Mwiza Nkhata, are claiming damages for about 250 households that were told to stop developing their land, building houses, farming and other economic activities in readiness for relocation in 2012.
The people say they have endured hunger and poverty since Global Metals said they would be compensated and relocated.
Documents filed in court show that the people feel the conduct of government and the mining company amounts to gross and unjustifiable violation of their constitutional rights to property, economic activity, development, and administrative justice.
They want damages for breach of contract, negligence and nuisance as well as losses resulting from the conduct of the defendants.
They also want the court to order government and the mining firm to undertake necessary remedial work to roll back the damage caused to the environment, land, water and vegetation.
Gondwe confirmed handling the case, saying they have served the Attorney General Charles Mhango with the lawsuit.
Last November, Kanyika Mines Natives Forum (Kamnaf) petitioned government through the Mzimba district commissioner (DC)Thomas Chirwa, saying they were being impoverished by the long wait for the promised compensation and resettlement package.
In an earlier interview, Global Metals’ Kanyika manager Chrispine Ngwena said they are still negotiating with government on the development agreement of the Kanyika Project. n