Mutharika cautions Tanzania to respect boundaries: Lake Malawi ownership non-negotiable

Malawi President Peter Mutharika on Monday took another step to affirm his stand on long-standing dispute between the country and Tanzania over Lake Malawi boundaries, saying national boundaries should never be an excuse for division.

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Mutharika in his speech during the opening the 4th ordinary session of Pan-African Parliament in Johannesburg, South Africa, called African countries to desist from inciting conflicts against each other due to boundaries.

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.

In his speech ayt Pan African Parliament, Mutharika said: “From the 1890 Heligoland Treaty to the 1964 Resolution on Border Disputes among African States by the OAU, there has never been a reason for disrespecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of nations.”

“Africa did not come to be what it is by mistake. It is then wise to remember that we co-exist peacefully because our forefathers who founded the countries we govern today valued unity in spite of our boundaries. In 1964, we all pledged that we will respect the borders we found by colonialism,” he said.

Mutharika said in Resolution 17(1) of the First Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the OAU, all member states solemnly pledged and declared “to respect the borders existing on their achievement of national independence.”

“The most outstanding of those forefathers was Julius Nyerere who sponsored the resolution and led Tanzania in playing an active role in respecting the territorial integrity we inherited from colonialism. Paradoxically, our unity lies in the borders that divide us. On 6th March 1997, in Accra, the founding President of Tanzania, Nyere himself, said we must continue respecting the borders we found because “without unity, there is no future for Africa.”

Malawi and Tanzania returned to the negotiating table over the lake issue after Mutharika initiated the talks following his meeting with his Tanzanian counterpart the popular President John Pombe Magufulu earlier this year on the sidelines of the AU summit.

Africa unite

On other points, the Malawian leader called for Africans to develop a spirit of oneness, arguing it t is impossible for the Pan-African Parliament to achieve anything if Africans don’t share a common goal.

He also tackled issues of wars and conflicts across Africa and pleaded for peace and security to prevail across Africa.

“In fact, in the complex world we live today, you do not need to go to war in order to be at war. Think about cyber security! Developments in technology have brought cybercrime by which any country can be under attack at any time. In addition, African countries are fast becoming crime routes and corridors of terrorism.

“In our quest for peace and security, we must also stop crime and terrorism being exported from one country to another through our countries. We must remember to stand together and remember – when you protect your neighbor, you protect yourself.”

Mutharika emphasized that African need to have a shared atmosphere of peace and security for the continent’s economic growth and prosperity.

“We have the war on poverty to fight. Not only do we need African economies to grow, but we also need the participation of the people in that economic growth. If our economic growth is to be meaningful, then we need the participation of women and the youth.”

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winston msowoya
Mr.PATHFINDER,I also hate you too with my firing conscience,brother.It seems what you are talking about is all bunkum.I would strongly advise you to read a book written by one of the British prolific Journalist Mr.Tom Burgus: THE LOOTING MACHINE.In this book,he explains openly how oil commodity has swallowed Africa’s pride and how African leaders,their families and serviles have looted the nations’ treasuries with impunity and brutality leaving the masses of the people walking dead souls.A good instance is Nigeria.Right now overwhelming people of Nigeria are starving due to extreme shortage of food and astonishingly,the Nigerian government has ran out of… Read more »

I ‘m very very pleased with you mr president muthalika


Sylvester Stallone known as John Rambo said….IS BETTER TO DIE FOR SOMETHING THAN DIE FOR NOTHING. let’s fight for what is ours .



Hlabezulu Ngonoonda
Well spoken Malawi President, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika (APM). In fact when it comes to international boundaries, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere was a traitor like Adolf Hitler. The latter never respected such boundaries. Mwalimu categorically uttered that not a drop of the water of Lake Malawi belongs to Tanzania after recognising the frontier between Tanzania and Malawi as essential to accept it, drew legal consequences from its existence and went on to respect it. But fell short of renouncing the right to contest it. What a hypocrite!!!! Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda knew that Nyerere exhibited such a misleading sense of friendliness.… Read more »
Amaduh Cassim

Fight fire with fire Prof. Muthalika ur not alone bwana

I caught the wisdom of APM telling Magufuli point blank at AU in south Africa in presence of all heads of states of Africa a very suitable forum “IF YOU PROTECT YOUR NEIGHBOUR YOU PROTECT YOURSELF” TZ should respect the 1890 Heligan Treaty protecting Malawi with its boundaries in order to protect themselves, otherwise if they misbehave then TZ is failing to protect itself. If one hates or feels envey against his neighbor he/she will be less protected. This is great wisdom. APM can even preach very well. Two people, a thief and a victim of theft may both pray… Read more »

Eish man Winston msowoya sindikufuna kukunamiza mphwanga I HATE YOU WITH ALL MY HEART. You are nothing but disgrace to our Malawi community.

Hlabezulu Ngonoonda
The major problem among Tanzanians is that they cannot interpret the treaty in which there is no mention of the median line being move to the middle of the lake. It could be that they focus endlessly on technical translation of maps drawn illegally showing median line ignoring the Heligoland legal text. Yet article 31 of the 1969 Vienna Convention of the Law of Treaties state that a treaty must be interpreted in good faith in accordance with the ordinary meaning to be given to its terms in their context and in the light of its object and purpose. It… Read more »
Dzimwale wamkulu

WELL SPOKEN Your excellency APM Sir! thats a way to go, TZ may act as goriath trying to intimidate Malawi but this should be noted loud and clear that Malawi cannot bow down giving up the things that belong to us; our heritage. Bravo Bwana President you hava all our support as our Commander in Chief, TZ stay away from our lake and concentrate on Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika, and the giant Indian ocean. Aka tisiyileni ka lake Malawi… Bravo APM! Long live the President! God bless Malawi!

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