Malawi foreign minister Ephraim Chiume made the latest accusation
Malawi foreign minister Ephraim Chiume made the latest accusation
Tanzania has dismissed Malawi’s protests against the alleged deployment of two ships on Lake Malawi saying that the vessels are meant for lake Nyasa and not in the disputed territory of the lake.

Malawi, which sits to the west of Africa’s third-largest lake, claims the entire northern half of the lake, while Tanzania, to the east, says it owns half of the northern area. The southern half is shared between Malawi and Mozambique.

“It’s true that we want to buy ships for lake Nyasa and not lake Malawi as it has been stated by the Malawian authorities…this plan has been in our ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi general election manifesto for some time,” said Tanzania’s Transport Minister Dr Harrison Mwakyembe.

Malawi over the weekend wrote Tanzania to protest against plans to deploy two ships on Lake Malawi. It warned that the deployment of ships would threaten the on going mediation efforts to resolve a long-standing border dispute.

Malawi foreign minister Ephraim Chiume made the clarification
Malawi foreign minister Ephraim Chiume made the clarification
Malawi’s department of foreign affairs has clarified earlier comments made by President Joyce Banda that the southern African nation has decided to take the Lake Malawi dispute with Tanzania to the International Court of Justice.

President Banda had earlier in the week said that Malawi was giving up on mediation efforts and would take to the courts to settle the dispute.

“Our view is that we should eventually go to court. We should not waste time on this,” Banda told reporters in Lilongwe on Monday after returning from visits to the US and Britain.

She said the mediation bid left to Mozambique’s ex-president Joachim Chissano in his capacity as head of a forum of retired leaders from the regional bloc SADC, was “compromised because information submitted by Malawi was leaked to Tanzania”.

But Malawi’s foreign affairs minister Ephraim Chiume clarified that position over the weekend saying that there are more than committed to finding an amicable and lasting solution to the lake boundary dispute with Tanzania, “through peaceful dialogue and diplomatic efforts.”

Malawi and Tanzania have reached a deadlock again over the disputed lake Malawi boundary, Tanzanian media reports indicated over the weekend.

Malawi claims sovereignty over the entirety of Africa’s third largest lake, while Tanzania says 50 percent is part of its territory. The row, which goes back half a century, could worsen if significant oil and gas discoveries are made.

Tanzania says talks over territorial rights on Lake Malawi have failed and is now asking for an international mediator to resolve a long-standing border dispute which has resurfaced because of potential oil and gas

“It is clear now, that we cannot resolve the issue between us,” Tanzania’s foreign affairs minister, Bernard Membe, told a news conference. “We will go ahead and propose a mediator, even if Malawi does not return to the negotiations.”