Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate in the forthcoming elections Peter Mutharika – a law professor – has said the entire Lake Malawi, Tanzania calls Lake Nyasa, which is potentially rich in oil and gas is owned by Malawi, saying there is no need to negotiate the issue.
Mutharika, who has not been participating in President Joyce Banda’s consultative meetings with opposition leaders on the lake, shared his rich legal knowledge in the matter on Saturday during whistle stop rallies he conducted in central region areas.
Speaking at Chipoka in Malawi’s lake shore district of Salima, Mutharika assured Malawians that they should not worry on the lake wrangle with Tanzania as the whole lake belongs to Malawi emphasizing that not even an inch belongs to Tanzania.
“No need to negotiate, Lake Malawi belongs to Malawi, and it will always belong to Malawi,” said Mutharika who also taught law in Tanzania.
“Tanzania is only taking advantage of the weak leadership we currently have, but deep down their heart, they know that not even an inch of that lake belongs to them,” said Mutharika.
“When we take back government next year, all this nonsense will end. And I will deploy more ships on that lake to boost our economy and create jobs for our young people,” said Mutharika much to the ululation from his supporters.
Tanzania claim to half the lake – Africa’s third biggest – but Malawi disputes. The matter is currently under mediation but President Banda has hinted that if not resolved by September 30, Malawi will got to International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Mutharika’s legal opinion also gives Malawi impetus to push the case to the ICJ if current mediation efforts by the Forum of Former Heads of State and Government fail.
Revered British judge Professor Rosalyn Higgins, QC, former ICJ head also gave a legal opinion which concludes that Malawi owns the entire lake.