Tempers flared at a meeting at Lunzu in Blantyre on Tuesday as community members expressed dissatisfaction with the way authorities are handling the yet-to-be launched quarry mine in the area.
The community, which organised the meeting attended by Blantyre District Commissioner (DC) Bennet Nkasala, is accusing group village head (GVH) Manesi Kapeni of Senior Chief Kapeni of receiving bribes from China Civil Engineering Company to start quarry exploration without conducting an environmental and social impact assessment.
However, the meeting turned ugly when Nkasala accused some people of politicising the event, arguing they were not real citizens of the area. The remarks angered former Mulanje South legislator Bon Kalindo who was present at the meeting.
Nkasala and Kalindo continued to exchange angry outbursts until Senior Chief Kapeni intervened.
Six minutes later, Nkasala apologised for his remarks and for leaving the community members in the dark on the project.
“Please accept my apology, but let me tell you that all the land in the country belongs to government.
“Second, let me apologise that some of the procedures on the establishment of the quarry mine were not followed and we will start the process again,” he said.
In an interview after the meeting, one of the community members Clement Jere suspected that apart from the quarry, the area has precious stones like gold which the company will be extracting.