Malawi impound Tanzanian boat, arrest 16 : Magufuli deploying 3  ships on disputed Lake Malawi

Malawi Police in Karonga the northern part of Malawi on Friday confiscated a 40 horse power Tanzanian engine boat which was illegally transporting assorted goods from the country to the neighbouring Tanzania and arrested 16 people.

Magufuli deploying three ships on Lake Nyasa known also as Lake Malawi

Magufuli deploying three ships on Lake Nyasa known also as Lake Malawi

Confirming the development, Karonga Police Station Officer Roderick Mpeta said the incident occurred in the early hours of Friday at Mufwa Lodge along the Lake Malawi Tanzania calls Lake Nyasa,  which is potentially rich in oil and gas, after a tip off by some well-wishers.

According to Mpeta, out of 16 arrested 13 are Tanzanian nationals while 3 are Malawians.

“We have indeed impounded a Tanzanian boat and arrest 16 people in the process who were trying to illegally transport goods from Malawi to Tanzania.

“Some of the items found imposes include 11 cows, 16 cartons of liquor sachets, 93 iron sheets, 110 government mosquito nets, assorted medical drugs like amoxicillin, quinine as well as malaria drugs (RA) among others,” said Mpeta.

He said that the suspects will appear before the court soon to answer the charges of exporting goods without business license which is contrary to section 329 and 3 of the penal code.

Mpeta could not disclose the identities of the suspects who have been arrested,  saying it can affect their investigations.

 Cargo ships provocation

Meanwhile, President John Magufuli government is deploying three ships on Lake Malawi, also known as Lake Nyasa, despite an ongoing territorial dispute with Malawi over the lake, the  deployment could jeopardise the mediation process.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesperson Rejoice Chaponda said Malawi government is “not aware” of the plans by Tanzania to deploy ships on Lake Malawi, saying they demand answers.

Malawi, which lies to the west of Africa’s third largest lake, claims to own the entire lake, while Tanzania, to the east, maintains it owns half of the northern area — following a simmering animosity between the two countries.

The East African reported that the multipurpose ship will have a capacity for carrying 350 tonnes of cargo and 193 passengers will start operating on Lake Malawi in August this year, quoting Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA).

The other two cargo barges with a capacity to carry 1,300 tonnes of cargo each, will be constructed and commissioned between August and October 2017.

“Malawi could be angered by the move, “ orbserved senior lecturer at the Institute of Finance Management Abdallah Saqware.

But he said Tanzania is deploying ships because “it believes half of the lake belongs to it.”

Malawi President Peter Mutharika put his foot down  that the  entire lake is owned  by Malawi, saying there is no need to negotiate the issue.

Mutharika – a  law professor who also taught law in Tanzania – told a meeting of former president of Mozambique Joaquim Chissano and former president of Botswana Festus Mogae, who are members of Forum of Former African Heads of State and Government mediating in the Lake Malawi border dispute with neighbouring Tanzania, that whole lake belongs to Malawi emphasizing that not even an inch belongs to Tanzania.

“My position has not changed,” said President Mutharika.

Malawi government previously  hinted that if not resolved, it will got to International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Mutharika’s  legal opinion  also gives Malawi impetus to push the case to the ICJ if current mediation efforts by the Forum of Former Heads of State and Government fail.

Revered British judge Professor Rosalyn Higgins, QC,  former ICJ head  also gave a legal opinion which concludes that Malawi owns the entire lake. –Additional reporting by Judith Moyo, Nyasa Times

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57 thoughts on “Malawi impound Tanzanian boat, arrest 16 : Magufuli deploying 3  ships on disputed Lake Malawi”

  1. geof says:

    this issue is non negotiable the army should be deployed to end this xo called deploymennt of ship. How can we negotiate nyanja yanthu yomwe ndi neighbour,

  2. chibweya joe says:

    Suppose Lake Malawi was a river between village A and B which village would it belong? Look at Zambezi and learn a lesson. It was being myopic for our forefathers to conclude that the lake belongs to Malawi and Malawi alone. How come Mozambique has a share.

  3. kumekume says:

    kikikiki war is impending, where there is oil there is war.

  4. Brother says:

    Rumours of war!

  5. Martin says:

    I think it is a waste of time to delay taking this matter to the International court ICJ for immediate legal resolution.

  6. mtanzania says:

    we will share half of the lake with malawi as per international water laws contrary as iddy amin what happened to uganda during 1979 war….

  7. Commando Ready says:

    Tanzania thinks big is the answer. Well, we shall turn them into small.

    Taifas are no better at war than Malawians are.

    We fight quality, not just quantity.

    Let’s reclaim our land beyond the lake. And if they still don’t relent, let’s take all their land all the way to the Indian ocean. And if they remain adamant, let’s obliterate their country off the map.

    This is malawi’s opportunity to get rid all the Taifas once and for all.

  8. Nyungu ya Mawe says:

    All Malawians, Mozambicans and Tanzanians residing along the lake Malawi/Nyasa shores have enjoyed, be sports, or economic activities within the lake long before colonial rulers signing agreement to divide the lake between Malawians and Mozambicans. Hence Tanzanians has the right of access to the lake the same as their ancestors before them..

  9. Robert Kainga says:

    i dont believe if our grandparents who fuaght for this land were alive could have just let our lake go like that.
    lets do something to protect our country.

  10. DOBO says:

    Tanzania leaders are senseless. Lake Malawi has been a Malawian for over 100 years . Claiming part of part it now as theirs is sateanic to sacrifice the blood of innocent people on both sides. What they are doing is a direct provocation of bitter war which they can not win.They have to think twice because no Malawian can tolerate that madness. During Kamuzu era,Malawi was feared and respected even by big powerful nations like Russia. At one time, Mozambique planned to attack Malawi on accusation that Malawi was helping Renamo but the consequences were too severe for Mozambique.May be Tanzania can suvive this madness because of weak Governments we have been having since Democracy except Bingu’s Government.Bingu was no nosense just as Kamuzu. Let us wait and see what of Peter but he seams he is no nosense too. Tanzania is simply trying to test waters for depth. If they find it shallow, they will take us head on.

  11. ric says:

    Chala choyang’anila sichichedwa kulowa mmaso. action action to the aggressor.

  12. Andrew Davie Nkhonjera says:

    We are all Malawians, lets have a better solution to protect our Lake without looking differences in Political agendas. Tanzania should stay from our Lake.

  13. Amawo says:

    As a Christian I donot involve myself in politics. I don’t vote for any party therefore if I don’t toe your party line don’t take me as an enemy. Stop sending me insulting names I am free to comment on the issues here but don’t take things personally. These names describe the contents of one’sheart. I pity you. U r a bitter person. I wl start praying for you.

  14. Winston Msowoya says:

    Yes Malawi has the right to defend its interests as the Tanzanians too,this includes Lake NYASA.The recent impounding of illicit trade in the Karonga border is a matter of concern to both countries which have lived peacefully for centuries.The government must also tighten security measures at our two Int’l Airports which are the channels of massive smuggles of our hard-earned FOREX by Chinese,Indians and Pakistans.Some reliable sources estimate that,Malawi Government looses up to US$70.000 from both Air Ports every month and that our govt.officers at the Air Ports succumb to such betrayal of the national economy through greed and unpatriotic zeal and also these saboteurs have upper hands on government senior leaders who fall victims of treachery and opportunism hence,the merciless destruction of our national economy.The problem we have now is that,you cannot send a thief to catch a thief,Muthalika is a thief himself,what do you expect? Malawi is catapulted to the dogs.LEADERSHIP IS THE PROBLEM WE ARE FACING!!!!

  15. Amawo says:

    As a Christian I donot involve myself in politics. I don’t vote for any party therefore if I don’t toe your party line don’t take me as an enemy. Stop sending me insulting names I am free to comment on the issues here but don’t take things personally. These names describe the contents of your heart. I pity you. U r a bitter person. I wl start praying for you. U seem desperate.

  16. Muleke kutionesa ife ngati Vindere... says:

    Pali anthu ena mukufuna muzizitenga ngati akumpoto kwambiri kuposa onse.Mukutitukwanitsa enafe. kukhala wakumpoto tisasanduke ngati zitsiru zoti muzitionetsa tonse ngati ozikonda, Zoona anthu akationa mkumati ndife oipa, ozikonda, mmaofesi, ndipena pali ponse. Who so ever is speaking ngati wa kumpoto dont generalise… Dont make us look. Abale anthu ambiri akwatiwa ndi kukwatira zigao zomwe timanyozazo… pliz pliz zauchitsiru ayi. Ngati sanakusankheni mmaudindo si vuto lathu tonse akumpoto chifukwa not all of us want to ministers. Nosense

  17. zoola says:

    We will fight them

  18. chibweya joe says:

    What Tanzanians have done is to make good use of lake Malawi. What have we done ourselves? We are dying of hunger yet vast volumes of waters. People fail to see their relatives at Likoma Island coz their is no reliable transport system. We are quarrelling about whether to explore oil or not from our lake. All we want is to boast that the lake belongs to us! Basi. Pali nzeru pamenepa? Let those who can use this lake wisely do so

  19. Ambuje says:

    Unregistered traders should be arrested indeed.

  20. mayepuchembwi says:

    Analyst @15 write a letter to government advise it what it should do now. Kufatsa kwambiri sikwabwino people take you for granted. Once in a while under trying circumstances like this one, teeth can be used to bite the fingers of a bad neigbour

    1. The Analyst says:

      Very true

  21. WHO FEELS IT....... says:

    WHATS NEXT? Paja timati amawaonerera amayi and NOW?????????????? ARE WE STILL HAING ANOTHER FEMALE PRESIDENT??? TISOVA!!!

  22. Mzakwacha says:

    Police mpeta,ask them where they got the nets&medecine.Mankhwala akusowa muzipatala uko,koma azipezeka ndi mavenda.Ndizimenezo kumpalume.I told u the same when i met u in ur office in january.Make sure u go to karonga physically,meet the good Oc of karonga police mpeta,investigate where medecine came.Arrest who sold the nets,medicen&they must be convicted to death becoz someone somewhere die/might have died just becoz there is/was no Ra drug.Ra was on the way to TZ.Mpeta u have done a good job u deserve promotion.Apolisi ena ndi mbava,akanangodyapo basi,mankhwala bwezi pano alikusidya.Shame to dpp and his exc.Prof.Qoata system Peter mutharika!.I dont fear-prof.Quota system peter muntharika,boma lakuponda.Just [email protected],but its like u have spend 20yrs.Koma qoata peter mutharika,ur head is only water,no wonder water is always near u.Mzakwacha Nixon,Pretoria+27724922299 or+27731440799.

  23. Abel Kanyika says:

    The Tanzanian they fear that malawi will be higher than what they expect from the lake but the question is why lake was named lake nyasa at first and later on lake malawi why not lake tanzania?

  24. Kaya Nyaphiri says:

    Mr Killembe and Quarter System, am from the North as well. However the way you talk looks like you are representing Northerners. When did you consult me and my family? The best you can do, is to speak for yourself and probably your family because I and my family do not know you.

    There are always better ways of resolving inhouse problems but obviously not the route you have taken. Everyone has freedom of expression and we do not need dictators in this era of democracy.

    The Lake, and the whole lot of it belongs to Malawi.

  25. Kenzo says:

    I think tanzanians are jealous knowing malawi will go far let alone tanzania disputed with their other neighbour before and the lost history will repeat itself.

  26. chikopa says:

    I think the issue of arresting the 16 people has nothing to do with the plans by Tanzania to put three vessels on the lake. Taifas think they have balls to play on the lake because they managed to chase Idi Amin Dada. Wa Nyondo wa Livingstonia kweni mukuti vichi?

  27. Godfrey CE says:

    Yees! Not even a inch of lake Malawi belong to Tanzania., proud of u Mr president.., mumatiimilira

  28. Geoffrey Lwanja says:

    President Magilufi,being a christian,should have known better that he is inviting a curse on his government by crossing an ancient boundary according tp the bible.

  29. Geoffrey Lwanja says:

    Predident Magilufi,being a christian,should have known better that he is inviting a curse on his government by crossing an ancient boundary according tp the bible.

  30. Makweya says:

    Cargo on boat includes government mosquito nets and hospital drugs! Wow, is this why Tanzania claims to own half the northern part of the lake to abate their citizens to be stealing even medical supplies from Malawi? Imagine 11 cows and 93 corrugated iron sheets on 1 boat!
    Swahilis will milk us dry aided by poor Malawians if we’re not careful!
    The lake has always belonged to us. We’ll not give a square inch away! Magufuli or no Magufuli, the law is on our side.

  31. umbamva suzatha mmalawi chifukwa cha umphawi

  32. Semani says:

    Action is louder than words tawasekelera kokwanira its time for action now before is too late

  33. ALFORDNALI says:

    The Army Must Get Ready To Protect Our Border Should These Taifas Intrude In Our Wates . Shoot Everyone On Sight

  34. Parallel Market says:

    If Tanzania goes ahead deploying the ships on our Lake Malawi without seeking authorisation fro Malawi Govt, it will be an act of aggression. It should not blame anyone thereafter!! Don’t say I did not warn you.

  35. Amawo says:

    Today people are eager to benefit from miracles, signs and wonders that accompany the preaching of the gospel without giving their life to God.

    Of late people from all over the world are flocking to men of God to receive favour from God but not to give their life to God. Is the president of Tanzania one of such people who are not prepared to live by the word but is only interested in the blessings that come with the gospel of Jesus Christ. If indeed he is a Christian let him be led of the Spirit of God and think soberly of the consequences of what he is intending to do. He should calculate the cost of such an action which is provocative. He should put himself in the shoes of his counterpart who will not allow that thing to happen without retaliating. As a Christian let him desist from starting something that will cost the life of innocent people.

  36. kkilembe says:

    Surely we could do what the Tanzanians are doing with “our ” lake – deploy cargo ships. I think Malawi has no right to prevent TZ from putting ships on the Lake. The SADC resolution committe determined that both countries can use the lake. I really dont kn ow what Malawi wants to achieve by wanting to own the whole lake. Malawi should ask the Tanzanias to extend the ships to Mangochi etc.

  37. Lovey says:

    Kodi mataifa mwatani?

  38. Jelbin Mk says:

    And Mozambique too owns a portion of the lake though that doesn’t qualify Tanzania owning halg of it. And do Tanzania want to rewrite history? Or do they want the world map to change with such a sudden? They are just undermining our government and our sovereignty. Their claims as a result of oil and gas availability in the lake not otherwise.

  39. Bevulo says:

    But what are our soldiers doing? Busy goint peace keeping missions while their lake is going. Our bouders are very porus. Look Mozambiqueans are flooding the country claiming they are running away from war yet there governments says there is no war in there country, we are receiving them instead of sending them back until their government admits they are at war. Tanzania knows very well that Malawian soldiers can not fight them at all, thats why they are doing this. Uku nkuderera kofika nako kukunyengera nkazi wako mnyumba mwako iwe ukuona mbamba akamaliza iwe nkumuthokozanso umveke zikomo muyende bwino achimwene. Zoopsa kobasi

  40. Quota System says:

    As far as we people in the northern Malawi are concerned, half of the northern part of lake Malawi (lake nyasa) belongs to TZ on account of the international law on transboundary water resources. If MW govt insists on being greedy, we’ll fight alongside TZ against MW and encourage TZ to annex north MW (land +water) to itself. North Malawi has nothing to gain from being part of Malawi – just look at the quota system in education which is squarely targeted to stifle academic progress of the hardworking children of the north; look also at the neglect MW govt pays to development of the north. The north has all the reasons to side with TZ on the lake border issue, and will take this opportunity to break up MW and reconstitute the borders. The southern border of TZ will extend to Jenda. As for the impounded boat, MW is so silly to charge boat owners of only illegal transport of goods; what about the items in the boat some of which belong to govt? Why not charge them also on possession of goods suspected to be stolen? This MW govt is nonsense-we cannot develop under it.

  41. Jersey says:

    Enough is enough mr magufuli. U have to know that malawians their not stupid. I dont think tha doing this to other country they could leave you for a long .But becouse Malawi is a God fear that is why seems like your doing wise to against with us about lake

  42. The Analyst says:

    . . . And I quote . . .
    “Malawi govt is not aware of the plans by Tanzania to deploy ships into the lake.” – Chaponda
    . . . Nobody expects the Malawi govt to know (everything) about what Tanzania is thinking; but everybody expects Malawi to do something or just be seen to be doing something.

    What has Tanzania done thus far, as a reaction to the dispute, if not redraw the country’s map – extending the boundary way deep into the middle of the lake?; besides deploying ships? Mind you this is happening while negotiations are still underway.
    . . . Now . . .
    What has Malawi done on the same?; if not notning but bank all her hopes on the never-taking-place negotiations, and whose progress or outcome (if at all they are taking place); nobody knows or cares to update anybody?
    Malawi is being a loving and friendly neighbour, you say? Ha! Laughable!
    . . . Yes, we all know (about that lie we tell each other) that Malawi is a God-fearing Nation and that Jesus taught us to give the other cheek for a second beating when slapped once, but did Jesus say what we should do when you are slapped twice?
    . . . Has Malawi not been slapped more than twice by Tanzania?; when Tanzania redraws the map and deploys ships?
    . . . Until Tanzania does what, shall Malawi act or react? e.g. establishing some physical presence in the area?
    . . . Does Malawi always have to react, anyway?

    If we cant be as physically agressive as the Taifas, why not be intellectually aggressive?, by taking on some meaningful negotiations? not the ones we are told now, which everybody knows they are not even taking place at all?
    Malawi is exercising restraint, you also say?
    . . . But who doesnt know that there is a very thin line between kupewa, kufatsa and kupusa? And that most Malawians, particularly their leaders; siofatsa or opewa iai?

    Malawi needs to act, and needs to act fast . . .
    Otherwise, it will be painful to lose the lake to Tanzania and see Tanzania take the oil in peace, ease and comfort.
    . . . Thus, if Malawi fails to prevent Tanzania from taking that part of the lake; Malawi should not fail to let Tanzania fail to take the oil. Coz sometimes you win, not necessarily by taking over what’s being disputed; but by simply preventing the other, from taking the thing also.
    . . . And this; Malawi can do!

  43. YOBU 1313 says:


  44. chibweya joe says:

    Do we have a new malaria drug called RA?

  45. Phylord Sefasi says:

    Rejoice Chaponda up to that far,koma amzathu kukhala ndimainaku ndi bwinodi.

  46. Kingsley Jika says:

    I am not saying this to curtail debate, for Malawians have constitutional right to debate on any matter that has some bearing on them. And I know there are some good fellas who, like moth, have a liking for naked light of fire & can comment on anything & anyhow at that. And here, my point of concern is: this is a very sensitive subject. As such I PERSONALLY feel we have to exercise absolute restraint in what we say & even the way we say it. History teaches us that sensitive issues are best left to those who understand both the subject & consequences of idle talk. Honestly speaking, like many, I’m not competent in that area. Besides, I don’t think hiding under pseudonyms helps matters at all. Otherwise thanks Nyasa Times for such articles, articles that keep us abreast of events happening around us.

  47. Spectator says:

    Malawi is not aware that TZ is planning to commission three ships on lake Malawi because Dausi and his NIB are sleeping when they wake up they only think of how to destroy Chakwera, Uladi and Saulosi. The whole NIB is full of gossipers and hand crappers. I sugest that Mw government transfer all the Dausi organisation funds to MDF, the true patriots.

  48. Nathan says:

    Whether they call it lake Nyasa or lake Malawi, all of it belongs to Malawi. This lake has belonged to Malawi since the missionery days. Even Malawi derived her former name Nyasaland from this lake. Even the early missioneries such as Dr. David Livingstone and Dr. Robert Laws knew that the whole lake belongs to Nyasaland. Tanzania has lake Tanganyika and the Indian ocean, so they must take their hands off our lake!

  49. Magufuli says:

    Hmmmmmm so Chaponda employed his sister at Foreign Affairs as spokesperson!!!! Tribalism to the core!!! Stinking shit!!

  50. Gamulani says:

    War is inevitable, Tanzania is trying to be provocative

  51. John M. says:

    Tingoswana nawo basi, asatijaile mataifawa,

  52. Denis Mtux says:

    ma Tanzania akufuna chani…….solution ndi nkhondo basi palibekukambirana apa…

  53. alukosyo says:

    This NONSENSE MUST STOP mukukwiyitsa mzimu WA Genuine NGWAZI

  54. alukosyo says:

    I cry for Kamuzu Banda. Sadly it’s happening on 14th May.He must be turning in his grave.This nonsense must ‘Stop’

  55. Penya says:

    ICJ is the way on this issue. The neighbours need economic cooperation arrangements on the utilization, whereby TZ businesses or Govt can be licensed by Mw to operate.

  56. NAVITCHA says:


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