Kayerekera case on June 9


A concerned citizen in Karonga has initiated a court case blocking Paladin Africa’s contentious plans to eject waste water from Kayerekera Uranium Mine into surrounding rivers which flow into Lake Malawi.

On April 28, Karonga Business Coalition spokesperson Wavisanga Silungwe applied for an injunction from the High Court in Mzuzu stopping the mining company from releasing uranium trailing water stuck in a dam at Kayerekera since the mine was temporarily shut down in February 2012.

Kayelekera Uranium Mine in Karonga
Kayelekera Uranium Mine in Karonga

The application is partly backed by findings of an independent nuclear engineer, French national Bruno Cheyron, who asked citizens and civil society to demand answers from both government and Paladin on who will be responsible for treatment of the radioactive by-products of uranium mining when the mine is shut down.

Last week, judge Dingiswayo Madise ordered both Paladin and the concerned citizen to spell out the merits and demerits of their desired actions at a hearing slated for early next month.

“Let the counsel for the applicant attend the judge in chambers on the 9th of June 2015…for the application on the part of the applicant that an injunction be granted restraining the defendant either by himself, his servants, agents or whosoever from deposing uranium trailing water into Sere River or any river around Kayerekera Uranium Mine until determination of the order of the court,” reads the summons for the interlocutory injunction.

However, The Nation has seen court documents in which Silungwe alleges Paladin has started releasing water from its trailing dams.

But Paladin country manager Greg Walker, who expressed knowledge of the June 9 hearing, denied the allegation.

Said Walker: “It should be noted that, as previously reported, Paladin is only releasing water into the river system which has been treated to comply with Malawi discharge criteria and the World Health Organisation drinking water guideline for uranium content.”

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