Malawi President Peter Mutharika has maintained his position that the entire Lake Malawi, Tanzania calls Lake Nyasa, which is potentially rich in oil and gas is owned by Malawi, but has made concessions from his earlier declaration that there is no need to negotiate the issue but telling parliament on Friday that the two countries continue to work on “an amicable solution” to lake boundary dispute.
Mutharika – a law professor who also taught law in Tanzania – made his position known to former president of Mozambique Joaquim Chissano and former president of Botswana Festus Mogae, who are members of Forum of Former African Heads of State and Government mediating in the Lake Malawi border dispute with neighbouring Tanzania, that whole lake belongs to Malawi emphasizing that not even an inch belongs to Tanzania.
But Tanzania has recently maintained its owenership claim and reportedly will be sending ships to the disputed lake.
However, in his State of the nation address when he opened budget session of parliament on Friday, Mutharika said nothing has changed on lake wrangle with Tanzania.
“I say so clear because the issue of the boundary has been so clear for 126 years,” President Mutharika told Malawi Parliament.
Mutharika insisted that the whole lake belongs to Malawi emphasizing that not even an inch belongs to Tanzania.
He however said his position does not mean Malawi is ready to go to war with Tanzania, saying “an amicable solution” will be reached to resolve the lake wrangle.
The Malawi leader, who told parliament that he is “indebted to the Almighty God for the peace and stability” that people continue to enjoy in this country, assured of his personal and government’s commitment to return to discussions with Tanzania for peaceful resolution.
Malawi government previously hinted that if not resolved, it will got to International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Revered British judge Professor Rosalyn Higgins, QC, former ICJ head also gave a legal opinion which concludes that Malawi owns the entire lake.