The High Court in Blantyre has granted an injunction to some concerned citizens, stopping a mining company, Springstone Limited, and Mulanje Mountain Conservation Trust from continuing with mining exploration, court documents have shown.
The group, which comprises politicians and traditional leaders from Mulanje district, obtained the injunction last Friday.
They include Member of Parliament (MP) for Mulanje Pasani Peter Nowa, former parliamentarian and ruling Peoples Party official Brown Mpinganjira, renowned comedian Bon Kalindo and Traditional Authority Mkanda, among others.
The order, which was granted without the other party being represented, among other things, restrains Springstone and the Trust, their agents or employees from carrying out their activities on Mulanje Mountain.
The Trust is an environmental endowment organisation, which facilitates the raising of people’s awareness, involvement and understanding of the importance of the conservation and responsible management of the biodiversity and natural resources in Mulanje Mountain Forest Reserve.
Springstone Limited, on the other hand, was given a licence for the exploration of rare earths on the mountain.
In an interview, comedian Kalindo said the group has taken the matter to the courts to show seriousness and determination in their cause to protect the mountain from further exploitation.
“We want to show that we are serious on this matter. We have come to realise that the other parties are taking this matter lightly. For example during our meetings with Springstone and Trust officials on this issue, it was agreed that they stop their activities, but we have discovered that the Trust did not comply. They are still carrying out their activities.
“The most disturbing thing is that these people are now conducting counter meetings with the people, trying to buy them out so that they revolt against us,” said Kalindo yesterday.
According to the order, the group has up to December 28 to file an application for a permanent injunction.
The order warns Springstone officials and Trustees of Mulanje Mountain Conservation Trust or their agents against acting against the order, saying any one doing so will be liable for committal to prison.
Last month, the group wrote the two companies, asking them to stop their activities on the mountain and leave the area.