President Lazarus Chakwera has hailed his day-return State visit to Tete, Mozambique describing it as a move to further cement the bilateral relationship between the two countries, saying talks with his counterpart Philip Nyusi also touched on the need to improve trade links between the two countries.
Chakwera, speaking to the press at Kamuzu International Airport, said Nyusi recognises the insecurity in his country and that they are working to resolve the issues.
Jihadists seized the key port town of Mocimboa da Praia in gas-rich Cabo Delgado province last month. The Mozambican army has not yet managed to regain control of the area, where attacks first began in 2017. But the violence has escalated dramatically this year, with insurgents brutally killing civilians and ambushing military and other key targets with frightening regularity.
Chakwera said they discussed the issues and sought guarantees from Nyusi that the fertiliser that Malawi is importing for Affordable Input Programme (AIP) will not be affected when passing through Mozambique.
“The Mozambican President has assured me that he will make sure that farm inputs, especially fertilizer will be transported into the country through Mozambique without any challenges,” he said.
The President said he wants problems affecting any of the countries within the SADC region to be considered as shared problems to all member states.
“We need to join hands in dealing with such situations to ensure that people of those affected countries are helped accordingly,” he said.
Chakwera also said President Nyusi assured him that Mozambique is very ready to work Malawi in areas of energy, agriculture, security and rail transport among others.
The Malawi leader said he pleased that President Nyusi gave him a warm reception and that he was quite aware of how strategic Beira and Nacala Ports are to Malawi, as a landlocked country.
Chakwera said Malawi was currently working with Zambia in the sector of energy noting that the two countries shared similar problem of black outs.
In a Joint Communiqué, the Malawi and Mozambique leaders agreed to work together in trying to create additional infrastructure along the development corridors with the aim of improving mobility of people and goods by prioritizing Malawi connection to the Sena rail line through Vila Nova de Fronteira de Marka.
“We are very willing to supply energy to Malawi; through the already existing projects such as the construction works for the 400KV electricity transmission line for Mozambique and Malawi interconnection. Connecting Matambo Substation in Tete Mozambique and Phombeya in Malawi,” President Nyusi said after the bilateral talks with President Chakwera.
The two governments expressed satisfaction in the communiqué with the process of reaffirming of the common border that is taking place in accordance with the plan agreed between the technical teams of the two countries.
“There is a need to raise awareness among border communities in order to preserve the landmarks and avoid construction of new infrastrures on the affirmed borders as a way of ensuring peaceful co-existence among the local communities in the two countries,” the Communiqué reads in part.
President Chakwera addressing the high level delegation after the private meeting with his counterpart, he said the two countries share common social statuses which need to be respected.
“Malawians and Mozambicans are all the same despite sharing the borders. We are all brothers and sisters,” he pointed out.
During the President Chakwera’s visit, with his Mozambican counterpart, appreciated Cahora Bassa hydro power dam where a Malawi–Mozambique transmission line is being constructed under the Malawi-Mozambique interconnector project.
The Malawi Leader was companied by Minister of Transport and Public Works, Sidik Mia, Trade and Industry Sosten Gwengwe, Homeland Security, Richard Chimwendo Banda, Energy, Newton Kambala and Mining, Rashid Gaffar.
President Chakwera is using a chartered Malawian Airlines flight – the same he used on his visit to Zambia and Zimbabwe.
After an early departure in the morning, Chakwera arrived back at 4 :27pm and was welcomed by the State Vice President, Dr Saulos Klaus Chilima.
At the airport there were different political party colours of the Tonse Alliance member parties that include the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), UTM and Peoples Party (PP) among others.–Additional reporting by Martin Chiwanda & Mphatso Nkuonera, ManaFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :