BLANTYRE (MaraPost) —Tanzania has maintained that it still owns half of Lake Malawi, reiterating that the border between the two countries runs in the middle of the disputed lake.
Tanzania’s foreign affairs and international cooperation, Mkumbwa Ally on Tuesday told that country’s Daily News Dodoma will not change its position on the matter.
“We didn’t expect anything new or different; neither are we going to change our position. Our position is that the border runs in the middle of Lake Nyasa/Malawi.
“The mediation team is gathering information, then they will give their statement, then each side will decide to take it further if they do not agree with the mediation team’s judgment,” Ally is quoted as saying.
The African Forum for Former Heads of State delegation are scheduled to leave for Tanzania next week on a fact-finding mission regarding the wrangle over sovereignty of Lake Malawi.
Former Mozambican President Joachim Chissano and Thabo Mbeki of South Africa on Sunday met President Joyce Banda and her entourage at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe on the same mission.
The Malawi leader told the two mediation team being led by Chissano to reach an agreement on the matter by this September or else the matter should go to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
She said the longer the matter is taking to be resolved, the more strains are rising, mostly along the lake shores bordered with Tanzania.
President Banda also said her government will not bow down to “entertain any interim agreement” on usage of the waters of the lake with Tanzania “until the sovereignty issue is amicably resolved” through the SADC forum.
Banda notified Chissano and Mbeki that Malawi owns the entire lake except for a portion ceded to Mozambique in 1954 for mutually beneficial reasons.
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.