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Multinational mobile phone firm stashes $22m in tax haven from Malawi

By Collins Mtika Wherever you go in Malawi—whether it is in the cities, towns or the countryside—Airtel Malawi is part of the landscape, and just about everyone knows about it in this Southern African country of 18 million people. In 2018, Milward Brown, a global leader in brand strategy consultancy, advertising development

‘Scared’ villagers demand safety audit for Letšeng dams

Satellite view of Lets'eng Diamond Mine

SECHABA MOKHETHI Villagers from Patising in the Mokhotlong district are demanding a safety audit for Letšeng Diamond Mine’s slimes dams after the mine dismissed fears that they could be swallowed up by flooding if the dams and impoundments burst. The villagers’ adviser, United States-based consultant Steve Emerman, has offered to do the

Mining officials grilled over Reskol’s broken promises

TUMISANG SERAME Natural Resources, Tourism and Land Cluster’s parliamentary committee last week quizzed mining ministry’s Principal Secretary and Commissioner over protracted community grievances levelled against diamond miner in Kolo, Mafeteng district. Amid the inquiry, the committee urged the responsible officials to ensure agreements between the communities and the mining companies are honoured. The

China Railway wants LEC contract back

KEISO MOHLOBOLI   China Railway International Group has asked Lesotho’s Energy Ministry to reinstate a M2-billion contract for construction of 132KV powerline from Mazenod to Qacha’s Nek, which the Lesotho Electricity Company cancelled in controversial circumstances earlier this year. However, the role of China Railways in the project appears to hangs in

‘Secret’ M2-billion China deal exposed

Minister slams LEC powerline contract as illegal and unauthorised SECHABA MOKHETHI The Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC) has been accused of secretly entering a M2-billion power line contract with a major Chinese state-owned company without informing the Minister of Energy or the Cabinet. The MNN Centre for Investigative Journalism can exclusively reveal that the

Villagers sue Letšeng mine over relocation

Satellite view of Lets'eng Diamond Mine

SECHABA MOKHETHI In a highly unusual application, a group of villagers have asked the Lesotho High Court to order the Letšeng Diamond Mine to relocate them because they fear being engulfed by flooding from the mine’s slime dams. Patising village is located downslope of Letšeng, an active mine. The villagers fear they

Banned PBC oil found in LEC, LNDC transformers

NICOLE TAU Despite 2004 global ban, PBC oil has recently been found in 15 transformers used by the Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC) and Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) while 3000 more are awaiting tests. The study, conducted under the project spearheaded by the LEC and environmental department in the Ministry of Tourism,

Mothae’s bid: a pricing manipulation threat

SECHABA MOKHETHI A request by Lesotho’s Mothae kimberlite mine to sell diamonds to its major owner and operator, the Australian-based Lucapa Diamond Company, presents a chance for pricing manipulation, warns Antwerp Belgium based researcher. Hans Merket, researcher for Belgium-based research centre, International Peace Information Service, told MNN Centre for Investigative Journalism that,

Covid-19 scourge exposes Mapholaneng water crisis

KEISO MOHLOBOLI Covid-19 has shined a harsh spotlight on the hardships faced by Mapholaneng community as a result of the government’s failure to live up to promises of its 2007 policy that entitled “access to a sustainable supply of potable water” to all Basotho. Many of the country’s citizens living in rural

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