The Government of Malawi says it would continue negotiations with their Tanzanian counterparts on Lake Malawi since the current regime in Dodoma is ignorant of its claims that they own part of the lake.
Lake Malawi is at the core of a border dispute between the two countries which has been reignited over prospects of finding oil.
Malawi Minister of Information Moses Kunkuyu said on Sunday in a one hour interview with state radio Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) that all leaders of Tanzania had thought that they own Lake Malawi but only realized at later stages that “not even a drop of water from the lake belongs to them”.
The government spokesperson said by accepting to go on the negotiating table Malawi was not admitting that Tanzania had a case but they wanted to offer their counterparts direct details about the lake to wipe out their ignorance on the matter.
“Levels of understanding on any matter differs. Regimes in Tanzania have come and gone thinking that they own Lake Malawi but when they got facts about the matter they all realized that their claims were wrong.
“It is the same this time but as government we want to settle this matter once and for all that is why we have engaged them directly so that they understand that they don’t own any waters in Lake Malawi and that this matter is settled once and for all to ensure that no such a claim would be repeated by anyone that side again,” said Kunkuyu.
Queried on what will happen to oil explorations exercises on the lake, Kunkuyu said the activities would proceed as any other developmental projects that are within the territory of Malawi.
“We are a government with goals for development and it will not need any country to dictate to us what we do with our territory therefore any developments of agriculture, mining and indeed oil explorations will go according to Malawi’s plans,” said Kunkuyu.
Malawi has awarded an oil exploration licence on the lake to British firm Surestream.
Former Mozambican President Joachim Chissano is trying to mediate the conflict between the two country and in May, Malawi complained of that Tanzania’s intimidatory tactics launching passenger ships on Lake Malawi.