President Banda insists Lake Malawi is for Malawi not Tanzania

President Joyce Banda maintains that the entire Lake Malawi belongs to Malawians as stipulated in the information and data they have retrieved and has substantial and legal signatures by the colonial masters.

“Since I was born, the information I got from my ancestors was that Lake Malawi belongs to Malawi. And indeed Lake Malawi belongs to Malawi; period.

“I therefore appeal to all Malawians to hand over to the young generation this information: that Lake Malawi belongs to Malawians,” said President Banda who was flanked by Minister of Information Moses Kukkyu, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation Ephraime Mganda Chiume and Chief Secretary of the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) Bright Msaka S.C.

She made the remarks on Sunday at a press conference at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe, held soon after she arrived from Kampala, Uganda, where she went to attend the 16th Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) summit for Heads of state and government.

Army Commander Henry Odilo welcoming President Mrs Joyce Banda upon arrivla from Comesa Uganda, kampala at KIA -pic by Lisa Vintulla/Mana

President Banda had partly, but substantially dwelt on the Lake Malawi issue in response to the misunderstanding that have arisen between Malawi and Tanzania, whereby Tanzania government is claiming that they have a map which to them indicates that the Lake Malawi belongs to them (Tanzania).

The Malawi leader said at the meantime her government has instituted a body entrusted with the responsibility of gathering facts and figures on the history of Lake Malawi.

“We have put in place a body whose sole responsibility is to look in the matter concerning Lake Malawi. This body has renown lawyers and historians among others; and they have collected to shade light on the matter, a thing she appreciated to discover that they all maintain that Lake Malawi belongs to Malawi,” she said.

President Banda also said she engaged members and officials of various political parties in the country consulting them about the Lake Malawi.

“The political leaders, too, maintain that Lake Malawi belongs to Malawi,” she stressed.

Last week officials from Malawi and Tanzania held a third meeting to follow up the misunderstanding on Lake Malawi.

Reporting to the journalists, at the press conference, on Lake Malawi, Chiume said they resolved at the meeting to they had to refer the matter to the retired presidents of Southern African Development Community (SADC), to help the two countries (Malawi and Tanzania) reach a compromise.

Said Chiume: “We met last week (Malawi officials and Tanzania officials) and further discussed the issue on Lake Malawi.

“At that meeting we resolved that tomorrow, November 26, officials from both parties go to South Africa and ask SADC secretariat to request SADC retired presidents intervene over this matter.

“We have in mind former president Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, retired president Rupia Banda of Zambia, retired president of Mozambique, Namibia’s retired presient Sam Nuoma, retired president Nelson Mandela, Tanzania’s retired president,  retired president Bakili Muluzi of Malawi and of course retired  president   Botswana,,” said Chiume

He said if the SADC retired president’s conclusion could not satisfy Malawi government as well as Tanzania government, the two parties will seek the help of the international Court of Justice.

Chiume however disclosed that they have received communication from Tanzania government that they postpone the trip to South Africa tomorrow saying they (Tanzania) are not ready.

Despite the rains, President Banda joined PP women in dancing upon arrival from Uganda -pic by Lisa Vintulla/Mana
President Banda chatting with Uganda  President Museveni
President Banda at the Comesa summit in Uganda

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