Malawi has taken a militant and defiance stand in Lake Malawi talks which resumes on Tuesday in South Africa, vowing not to give up even an inch of the famous lake of stars.
In a statement, the ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation says the talks are slated for Tuesday and Wednesday in Pretoria to be chaired by Mozambique’s former president Joachim Chissano.
“The Malawi government wishes to assure the general public that it will do everything not to give up even a single inch of its territory,” says the ministry.
Others to participate in the mediation talks are South Africa’s former president Thabo Mbeki and Botswana’s former president Festus Mogae.
The government says the talks were supposed to take place from May 8 to 9 but were cancelled last minute at the request of Tanzania.
“Malawi expressed concern at the postponement as it affects the timing of the conclusion of the mediation process,” reads the statement in part.
Malawi and Tanzania have been at loggerheads over the Lake of Malawi with Tanzania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Dr Augustine Mahinga recently insisting that part of the lake belongs to his country, where they call it Lake Nyasa.
Tanzania would like to have a share of the lake from which Malawi is about to extract oil, and has vowed that it will have a share of the resources drawn out of the lake.
“Our position on the lake has never changed because we have always maintained that our common border is in the middle of that lake.
“The issue is that we always demarcate new districts and regions and, therefore, time and again we publish new maps to highlight those changes,” Tanzania diplomat Mahinga said.
During his presidential campaign, Mutharika had said the border dispute with Tanzania – which revolves around the disputed lake – was not negotiable.
The two neighbouring countries last met in March 2014 in Maputo, Mozambique for the lake talks after te two countries nearly went to war over the lake after discovery of oil in the lake.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :