Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee - Questions taken on notice by ASNO- May 2012
Topic: Uranium Mining in Africa
Question on Notice
Is ASNO aware of any claims of concem and/or harassment of critics of Paladin Energy's Kayelekera uranium mine in Malawi? Are there any actions underway?
DFAT is aware that an online newspaper The Maravi Post reported allegations, in an article published on 26 October 2011, that Paladin Energy engaged in corrupt practices. The article also noted that prominent student and civil society activist, Robert Chasowa (who had made allegations of corruption against the company), had died in circumstances which remain unclear. The article implied that the company was knowingly involved in the death.
The Maravi Post subsequently printed a correction on 22 November 2011 withdrawing the allegations as false.
Rick Crabb (Chairman, Paladin Energy) wrote to the Australian High Commissioner to Malawi (Matthew Neuhaus - based in Harare) on 21 November 2011 confirming that the allegations were false.
Malawi's President, HE Mrs Joyce Banda, announced during her State of the Nation address on 18 May 2012 the establishment of a Commission of Enquiry into the death of Robert Chasowa. The enquiry is ongoing and our High Commission will continue to monitor this case.