Lake Malawi dispute: Tanzania, M23, and the greed it will ‘suffer’ for!

I may be Malawian and full of life, but am never a prophet of doom. However, it is starting to smell like Tanzania, our dear and long stood cousin-neighbor to the North-East, will end up reddening its once peaceful country if it continues to develop its greedy tendencies over resources that may never belong to them at all.

We are all aware, and I am very mindful, that there are current negotiations with former Mozambique leader, Joachim Chisiano, at the helm, as Malawi and Tanzania like the ostrich continue to bury their heads in the sand, refusing to listen to each others’ arguments. To be precise, it is Tanzania that is playing the ostrich, for neither a drop of Lake Malawi and a resource from within Malawi’s borders has ever and will ever be for the former Mussolini/Hitler colony. Ah-hash!!

Well, it has come to my notice, and perhaps of some of you, that Tanzania is extending its greed to other parts of its borders, well, this time with not so friendly neighboring forces that have promised ‘bloodshed’ to the Taifas. My only prayer is that scuffle will not extend to southern Africa’s Malawi.

Headlines on indicate Tanzania’s neighbor up there, Congo, have warned Tanzania they will target its soldiers if they join a United Nations mission to the region aimed at neutralizing armed groups, confirmed by a Tanzanian cabinet minister on Saturday.

Dodoma, as you may well know, is blushing off the Congo rebel threats ahead of its new mission under the UN, in efforts to cushion its year-long insurgence in the DRC.

Adamant Foreign Minister Bernard Membe dismissed threats of “mass killings” and said the 1,000 soldiers, part of a new 3,000-strong intervention force, would respond to any aggression from the M23 rebel group.

“We are not going to Congo as lords of war, we are going there as advocates of peace to help our neighbors,” Membe told parliament amid threatening letters that had been sent to President Jakaya Kikwete’s office as well as the national assembly.

Well, this may sound somewhat neutral of the Lake Malawi feud, but wait a minute and listen to this: ‘The Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) will be part of the existing U.N. peacekeeping mission in the mineral-rich east of Democratic Republic of Congo called MONUSCO, which was heavily criticized for failing to halt M23′s sweep across swathes of the country last year.’

Underline the words, ‘mineral-rich east’!

As he said about the presence of little dotted Taifa soldiers and other security (mis)details somewhere along the Lake Malawi which they call Lake Nyassa, Membe adds: “The U.N. troops are there, but they are not doing anything.”


And this time around, if Kikwete and friends in Dodoma are not careful, M23 could unleash its nonsense on the Taifas and Malawians will be the good old neighbors once again taking care of their ‘war’s displaced’ as we played to the Mozambican brothers and sisters during the pre-multiparty scuffle during the late Samora Machel’s era.

Malawians are always good at heart and being ‘neighborly’. But pray such a scenario does not arise, because Malawians at that moment in time may fail to see a good reason to be brotherly to the people that are slowly dipping their blood dagger into their socioeconomic spine through the lake wrangle. Which we do not need at all as the Taifas have no business within our borders.

And what is more?

The same reports that Membe was busy announcing in the Tanzanian parliament that Malawi was back into the negotiations, which as we all may know, we walked out in October 2012 after the Taifas continued to tactics aimed at intimidating Malawi fishermen, an accusation, of course, denied by the Tanzanian government. Well known for such ‘treachery’!

It has become an open secret that East Africa has become hot property for the oil industry since huge gas finds off the shores of Tanzania and Mozambique and oil strikes in Uganda and Kenya and that rich hydrocarbon deposits are believed to lie below Lake Malawi.

Despite such finds for the Tanzanian government, greedy Kikwete and his Dodoma stooges think the find off their shores elsewhere are not enough. They think, within their faulty pre-Hitler or Mussolini minds, that what belongs to Malawi must as well be theirs first.

‘Malawi, which sits to the west of Africa’s third-largest lake, claims the entire northern half of the lake while Tanzania, to the east, says it owns half of the northern area. The southern half is shared between Malawi and Mozambique,’ reports The Zambezian, and adds that we, the bona-fide owners of the lake, ‘…angered Tanzania in 2011…’ when we awarded exploration licenses to UK-based Surestream Petroleum to search for oil in the disputed northern area.

And fast-mouth Membe has the audacity to say: “If the mediators advise us to move forward to the ICJ (International Court of Justice) for a permanent solution, Tanzania will not hesitate to do that. We have all kinds of evidence to ensure that we win this case.” (Reuters)

That is what is so shocking. The Taifas have all the evidence? What evidence? Someone someday told me it was so difficult for the Taifas to read anything English, and this may be the reason that perhaps they do not understand all those charters and documents by the Organisation of African Union (OAU), then the African Union (AU), and the so-called ‘Helgoland’ Treaty (excuse my spelling).

Now am sure I heard my source right, unless the language turns Hitler or Mussolini, Kikwete and his guys will reap M23’s wrath on its people. God is watching their silly antics and may have let the rebels come to them to speak the language they seem to understand more.

The unfortunate part is that the only triumph the Taifas achieved in war terms was against a poorly maneuvered, ill-e-quipped, and mad army of Idi Amin. They have nothing to show on their national colors the way we have the Italian flag we captured from Moyale speak volumes of our war skills and conquests, gallantry, disciple, and most of all, peaceful nature.

But we can never and should never be taken for granted. The greed that Tanzania is so much blinded of will soon hurt its very heart. I may seem to be speaking in parables, but soon someone will suffer!Masinga column banner ha ha ha!

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