Malawi government spokesman Nicholous Dausi has rejected newspaper report that ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has lost documents pertaining to the ongoing Lake Malawi dispute between Malawi and Tanzania.
Flagship newspaper The Daily Times reported that the ministry’s Principal Secretary, Isaac Munlo, told Parliament about the missing documents and attributed it to a chaotic filing system of documents and lack of systems of data keeping.
“We haven’t found the records for the [Lake Malawi] dispute. I insisted we should find them but my staff only found photocopies,” Munlo is reported to have told Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (Pac) in quotes reported by the paper.
Munlo said the ministry has since engaged the Department of Antiquities to help it modernise the filing system of documents, including those from the Accounts Department.
But Dausi issued a statement on Saturday made available to Nyasa Times that Malawi Govermebt has in “safe custody” all relevant documentation and records pertaining to all its boundaries, including the Lake Malawi Boundary Treaties as submitted to the Mediation Team.
Dausi, who is also Minister of Information, ICT Communication, further explained that during Munlo’s appearance to Parliament, the MPs wanted to know what the Ministry is doing to ensure that no documents get lost again as it happened with the 2012/2013 financial year documents.
He said inresponse, the Ministry informed Parliament that it is improving its archiving system as a matter of neccessity because the Ministry keeps important documents.
“The Minsitrty cited documents on Lake Malawi only as one example of the important documents it keeps,” said Dausi.
According to the statement, The Daily Times understood this explaination to mean that documents on Lake Malawi dispute have been lost and they proceeded to make that a front page story on 1st September, 2017.
“Therefore, their article on lost documents on Lake Malawi was imagined outside the substance of the meeting between the Public Accounts Committee and the Ministry of Foreigns Affairs and International Cooperation,” reads the statement by Dausi.
Malawi and Tanzania have been on a protracted wrangle over part of the lake which Tanzania claims belongs to it. A mediation team of former presidents was instituted to resolve the issue. So far, there appears to be little progress on the matter.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :