President Lazarus Chakwera has said he has agreed with his Tanzanian counterpart John Pombe Magufuli that there was a need to build a good friendship between the two countries first before engaging each other over the border dispute on Lake Malawi, which is potentially rich in oil and gas.
Speaking to journalists at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) in Lilongwe on Thursday after his arrival from Tanzania, Chakwera said he wanted to establish a rapport with Magufuli before raising the issue which he described as sensitive.
“My primary reason for visiting [Tanzania] was really to establish a rapport, to be able , like we said, to build friendship before function so that when we talk about such sensitive issues we talk from the position of friendship, as one people that know each other, not from a position of hostility,” said Chakwera.
Tanzania’s claim to half the lake – Africa’s third biggest – but Malawi disputes that assertion.
Malawi awarded oil exploration licences to foreign companies including Rak Gas to search for oil in the lake, which Tanzania calls Lake Nyasa.
“To put it in the words of President Magufuli, he said this is a non-issue,” said Chakwera.
Chakwera said Malawi and Tanzania have agreed to foster economic cooperation in transport, fisheries, mining, tourism and agricultural sectors.
He thanked Tanzania for availing his landlocked country two ports of Mtwara and Dar es Salaam.
While in Tanzania, Chakwera visited Malawi Cargo Centre in order to appreciate challenges which have been locking the centre currently known as MCC Limited.
The port has been facing numerous challenges due to lack of political will.
Chakwera said the cargo centre is very important and strategic to the country.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :