Members of parliament have asked Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldiers to go back to Namizimu forest in Mangochi to fight illegal mineral miners.
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Chairperson of Natural Resources and Environment parliamentary committee Welani Chilenga said it was worrisome that illegal miners are back in the forest just a year after they were forcebly driven out by the soldiers.
"Our failure to protect these precious stones is lamentable," said Chilenga when ministry of Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs appeared before the committee on Friday.
Chilenga said the members of parliament were worried that the ministry officials failed to give convincing answers s to how they would deal with the illegal miners in the forest.
Principal secretary for the ministry Patrick Matanda assured the committee members that the government would work with the people surrounding the forest to deal with the issue.
He said there are some measures the government cannot do anyhow without consulting Mozambique, saying the area lies in the borders of the two countries.