Tanzania owns part of Lake Malawi, minister says after meeting President Mutharika

Tanzania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Dr Augustine Mahinga has said that part of Lake Malawi belongs to Tanzania, where they call it Lake Nyasa.

President Peter Mutharika holding talks with Tanzanian Foreign Ministers Mahinga at Kamuzu Palace.(C)Govati Nyirenda. Mana

President Peter Mutharika presents a gift to Tanzania minister

President Peter Mutharika meet Tanzanian Foreign Minister

Mahinga said this on Monday when he met Malawian President Peter Mutharika at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe.

“This is a sensitive and contentious matter,” said Mahinga.

He said the old map, drawn before Malawi got its independence from the British, clearly shows a good chunk of the waters of the lake belong to Tanzania.

Mahinga, therefore said Tanzanians are not rewriting history.

His comments, ahead of the start of dialogue between Malawi and Tanzanians on the matter, will be a thorny issue.

Malawi and Tanzania returns 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 a week ago on the sidelines of the AU summit.

In his remarks,  President Mutharika said despite the Lake Malawi wrangles, the relationship between the neighbouring nations has always been cordial and should be enhanced.

“Malawians and Tanzanians are basically one and the same people as they share similar cultures, language, practices; and a common ancestral heritage. As one people, it is important to continue strengthening our historical relations that exist between us,” said Mutharika who has lived in Tanzania during his time he stay abroad.

Mutharika said his talks with President Magufuli in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia they  discussed “various issues of mutual interest.”

Hre said: “The meeting opened a new level of cooperation, since both of us have strong desires to improve and enhance our relations to the higher levels.”

Malawi and Tanzania have signed a Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation (JPCC.)

Mutharika said he was “grateful” to Tanzania for accepting Malawi’s invitation for a JPCC Meeting  in Lilongwe.

He pointed out that the commission has for the first time signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Political and Diplomatic Consultation through which the two countries will cooperate on matters of foreign relations which include: holding of quarterly meetings between Ministries of Foreign Affairs in each other’s countries with Resident Missions, holding bi-annual meetings between Ministries of Foreign Affairs and convening of the JPCC’s according to schedules.

“I am gratified that the meeting also made a lot of important agreements towards trade and investment promotion between the two countries which include: the establishment of the Simplified Trade Regime (STR) which will economically benefit Small and Medium scale businesses plying their trade between our two borders; establishment of the One Stop Border Post (OSBP) at Kasumulu/Songwe Border, which will make it easier for our traders to ply trade between the two countries,” said Mutharika.

The two nations also agreed on finding solutions to the Tariff and Non-Tariff Measures by March 2017, which affected trade between the two countries especially duties charged on Malawi Sugar in Tanzania and a Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) which will create a new opportunity for the air travel business and investments as it will enable Malawian Airlines to expand its operations in Tanzania.

Mutharika also revealed that Malawi and Tanzania have agreed to improve on areas of transport and communications systems including rehabilitation and upgrade of the road transport networks of the Northern Corridor and the joint exploration of feasibility of constructing rail links between Mbeya and Northern Malawi, Mbeya and Itungi Port to Malawi, and Mtwara through Mbamba Bay to NkhataBay.

“The operationalization of the Mtwara Development Corridor will go a long way in enhancing our shared goals in the socio-economic development of our countries” the  Malawian leader said.

On his part, Mahiga said the commission also agreed on the development of the Songwe River Basin Development Programme, enhance cooperation in energy matters, tourism, health, education, agriculture, mining, fisheries, sports and gender.

“We have also agreed to start training each other’s Diplomats; Cooperation in Local Government Authorities whereby officials along the border Districts and regions of our two countries will be meeting on a regular basis to share best practices for mutual interest; cooperation in public service management reforms and supporting each other in common positions and each other’s candidates in regional and international meetings,” the Tanzanian minister said.

Foreign Affairs minister Francis Kasaila said he is upbeat the lake dispute  talks will go on smoothly once they start in a few weeks time.

Meanwhile, exploration of oil and gas continues in Lake Malawi. Tanzania became interested in the lake after large deposits of oil and gas were discovered in the lake.

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Tili ndi zitsilu ku Ministry of Foreign Affairs, mpaka kulola minister wa ku TZ kumazachallenger pamaso pa President?? Nanunso a President chisilu chilichonse chingabwere muziko muno kukumana nacho. kaya ma junior staff aku IMF kukumana nawo, mabusinessmen aku China kukumana nawo. Panalibe zifukwa zokumana ndi nduna ngati munakumana ndi magufuli. Ndunayi ikanakumana ndi nduna inzake osati nyasi zimene mwapanga apa mpaka kukukodzelani nkamwa. Kodi ma adviser anu alikuti. Kusowa utsogoleli pankhani imeneyi kuyambila Joyce Banda ndi inu a Mutharika sikuthandiza a Malawi.

Copied from Comment by Moshe Luwinga on September 4, 2013 at 9:28 on Tanzanian blog on quashing the 1890 Heligoland Treaty I have read this article twice just to understand what the Dr. is trying to put accross. I agree with him that Malawi was given an unfair edge especially considering the local communities who depend on the lake for their day to day survival. a few points which can be drawn from this article are: 1. The status quo is that Malawi owns the entire northen part of the Lake as at now 2. Tanzania wants the lake boarder… Read more »
“Nyasaland” is for Nyasaland and Lake Nyasa is for Nyasaland. This should be made VERY CLEAR TO THE TAIFA. I am surprised why the President even let this so called “Muhinga” open his dirty mouth to talk about the lake. I thought our President met his counterpart in Addis? So what was this all about? Now I know that “all matchona really have nothing in their heads except kuba”. Malawians note that it is on record that all those people who fled Malawi during the reign of HKB are thieves. This is clear. First it is Bingu wa What, then… Read more »

Osada nkhawa my fellow countrymen. Our leader has taken a good move, he didnt want talk about the lake. Lake Malawi belongs to Malawi no matter they divert it to be lake Nyasa. Lake Nyasa, lake Malawi its one thing. Lake Nyasa is a lake for the people of Nyasaland. Tanzanians doesnt know that Malawi was called Nyasland.

Yatuta Chisiza

After Meeting the President? do we have president


Lubango, it was your decision to share your lake with those neighbors of yours. You knew they are busy fighting and hence no time to make use of lake tanganyika. After all there is no chambo in Tanganyika lake as you call it.
You use International law governing water boundaries in the absence of any treaties. The treaty is there to govern the lake issue period.

lim kal
To the south by the line that starts on the coast of the northern border of Mozambique Province and follows the course of the Rovuma River to the point where the Messinge flows into the Rovuma. From here the line runs westward on the parallel of latitude to the shore of Lake Nyasa. Turning north, it continues along the eastern, northern, and western shores of the lake until it reaches the northern bank of the mouth of the Songwe River. It then continues up that river to its intersection point with the 33rd degree of east longitude. The line continues… Read more »
Yatuta Chisiza

We have a headless Head of state

Mbezuma Mbezuma
My appreciation and thumb up to what Kent Y.G. Mphepo has written. If the government could have a consultation spirit they could humbly consult Kent. I see that Mr. Mphepo has a lot of facts which could be hard for him to display all of them here. Malawians let have a full voice and fighting spirit on this lake issue. Lubango; I think you are not a Malawian yourself so don’t confuse Malawians. Just leave the country peacefully rather causing havoc to our well organized Malawian camp. At the same time don’t show your incompetence of knowledge here. What you… Read more »

give TZ part of that lake we do not need it

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