Employees at Kayelekera Uranium Mine in Karonga have threatened to damage the mine owned by Paladin Resource Limited after management reportedly refused to give them the demanded salary percentage increase.
Police have since arrested five employees in connection with the threat.
Both Paladin and police confirmed the arrest yesterday.
Paladin general manager for international relations Greg Walker claimed yesterday that some employees were threatening to damage the company; hence the deployment of police officers.
“When people threaten to sabotage the mine, that is serious. They threatened to damage the company and police came in because the situation was serious,” said Walker, who could not really explain whether employees threatened to bomb the plant as reported in other circles.
He could also not disclose the type of threats that were made apart from saying that “they could have sabotaged the plant and many lives could have been lost”.
He confirmed that some employees were arrested, but denied that the company influenced the arrest, saying the Malawi Police Service (MPS) do not arrest people anyhow.
Karonga Police officer in-charge Foster Mangani admitted that five employees were arrested last week but dismissed reports that there was a bomb scare.
“In fact, it was not an arrest as such but the five were called for caution statements,” said Mangani.
The police officer, however, admitted that the problem at Kayelekera involved salaries.
“The employees were demanding 170 percent but the company was able to provide only 11 percent. Then there were e-mail threats that were made and as police, we came in to deal with it,” said Mangan