The Parliamentary cluster on agriculture and food security and natural resources has recommended that the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) should stop buying gold.
According to a report presented in the House, the cluster says the Central Bank is buying gold from unlicensed and illegal miners.
“Your Cluster learnt that up to date, no Cooperative has been registered to sell Gold in the country and therefore the Ministry of Mining should come clearly on who is selling Gold to the Reserve Bank of Malawi.
“The cluster is therefore surprised that the Reserve Bank of Malawi is buying GOLD from illegal miners thereby fueling illegal mining activities in the country,” reads part of the report.
The Cluster has since suggested that RBM should only continue buying the mineral until the time when the Ministry of Mining will provide a list of licensed miners in the country.
“The Cluster therefore, recommends that the Reserve bank of Malawi should stop buying Gold since it is buying from unlicensed and illegal miners and continue buying until the time when the Ministry of Mining will provide a list of licensed miners,” recommends the report.
During the presentation of the 2021/2022 budget statement, finance minister Felix Mlusu told the august House that the Reserve Bank of Malawi established a structured minerals market and commenced buying gold on 1st May 2021.
According to Mlusu, to date, gold worth K60.0 million has been purchased by the Bank and that the market will go a long way in supporting Artisanal and Small-Scale Miners.
In the 2021/2022 financial year, the total amount of funds allocated to the planned activities to curb illegal mining is MK84,903,400 of which K43,722,000 was allocated to Mine Surveying; K20,287,400 for Formalization of Artisanal and Small-Scale Miners (ASMs); and K20,894,000 for Extension Services to ASMs.
The Ministry of Mining however, requested for an additional budget of K570 million to cater for stakeholder engagement to curbing illegal mining.