Tanzania fire must be met with fire on Lake Malawi row: Editorial

Tanzania is sabre-rattling and palpably and loudly beating the drums of war against peaceful Malawi over our jewel in the crown–Lake Malawi and this is being championed by no lesser mortal than President Jikaya Kikwete himself.

The occasion could not have been grander to whip up emotions and put nationalistic energies on a collision course for war against Malawi over Lake Malawi than the celebration of Tanzania hero’s day on Thursday when Kikwete told his compatriots that his armed forces are ready to protect the country against any foreign threats.

But Kikwete’s outbursts and intimidation, coming at a time when Sadc mediation, led by former Mozambican president Joachim Chissano and former South African president Thabo Mbeki, should not be come as a surprise.

The warmongering is a simply a sign of the fact that Tanzania knows it has no chance in hell of getting even an inch of Lake Malawi if a more civilised way of dealing with the matter is employed hence the empty threats of using force to get half of our lake even when historical treaties governing the border say otherwise.

But as Chinua Achebe once intimated, when a man threatens to defecate or indeed defecates into your house, you do not smile at him but simply break his neck. Tanzania is threatening to do more and it is to take half of the house by force of violence.editorial

But we, at Nyasa Times, say this naked aggression should not be allowed to stand unchallenged and fire must be met with fire.

As so many sober-minded commentators have argued times without number, Malawi got a raw deal from the 1884-85 Berlin Conference during which European powers decided to partition Africa and its resources among themselves.

The country is simply grotesquely squeezed in the hand of some Colossus that are its neighbours that it cannot breathe through the unfair boundaries imposed on its people by European rulers that even separated families.

Yet despite this clear historical imbalance and injustice, Malawi has remained meek and peaceful throughout the years when the right course of action would have been attempts to destabilise its neighbours with a view to create more living space for its people.

But it seems this has been taken as a weakness by Tanzania and it has decided to throw its weight around to bully Malawi into submission by use of its so called military might to give up what truly belongs to us—Lake Malawi.

It is in this regard that we call upon our leaders in government for once to rise up and deal with this naked aggression once and for all.

We spend billions of kwachas every year running and equipping our army with modern hardware. Perhaps time has come for that investment to be put to productive use.

Army Commander General Henry Odillo is on record to have assured Malawians to sleep in peace over Lake Malawi, saying his boys and girls are ready to defend the territorial integrity of the nation.

To him, we say time has come to make good of that assurance to Malawians.

Lake Malawi belongs to Malawi in its whole entirely and this is backed by historical records that emanated from the Partition of Africa. It is our only crown in jewel and no amount of intimidation should be entertained to give it up and satisfy dangerous ambitions of bloodthirsty leaders like Kikwete who thinks his country’s triumph over a twisted mind like Ugandan Idi Amini many years ago should be used as a launch pad for aggression against Malawi over what truly belong to her.

The die is cast and the country must fight to the bitter end. Tanzanian fire must be met with fire.

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