Petra advocates 40 percent stake in Paladin’s Kayelekera uranium mine

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People’s Transformation Party (Petra) says the Joyce Banda administration should renegotiate the deal with Paladin Africa on the stake in Kayelekera Uranium mine.

The party says 40 percent would be more ideal than the current 15 percent.

But Minister of Energy Dr Cassim Chilumpha has said the issues raised by Petra need to be looked into from a technical point of view.

Petra president Kamuzu Chibambo said in an interview on Wednesday that the deal negotiated by the late president Bingu wa Mutharika’s administration in which Malawi benefits 15 percent was unrealistic.

“As Petra, we are calling for the renegotiation of the whole deal because this one stinks.

“Let us raise the equity percentage and 40 percent will be ideal. We are not blaming Paladin as an investor, but Malawi policy formulators and managers. Paladin did not give us a raw deal, but it is government machinery here that let Malawians down and we are holding them responsible.”

Chilumpha, however, said the issues Chibambo raised would mean government buying shares in Kayelekera if the stake were to be increased.

He said although he was not part of the negotiating team at the time the deal was sealed, he was sure that the DPP government followed the principle of privatisation which aims at pulling government out of commercial activities.

Chilumpha said the 15 percent was secured to ensure that government had a say in the activities at Kayelekera since issues of uranium were sensitive worldwide.

“These are matters that government can look at, but it is not a matter of one ministry, but the whole government. But when we talk about increasing the stakes from 15 percent, we must know that government must buy shares in Kayelekera and I do not think government has that kind of money,” said Chilumpha.

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