Tanzania says lake dispute not over, to fastrack mediation: Sign pact with Malawi

Tanzania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Coorperation, Augustin Mahiga has  said a dispute between his country and Malawi regarding their border through Lake Malawi also known as Lake Nyasa in Tanzania is still on.

Tanzania’s Foreign Minister Mahinga: Lake Malawi border dispute still on

Mahinga said after  he signed on behalf of his government a Joint Permanent Commission Coperatuon (JPCC) agreement with Malawi in Lilongwe on Sunday.

“This lake border dispute is now under revived discussion,” said the Tanzanian Foreign Minister.

He said the matter is being handled by three member committee led by fromer president of Mozambique JoachimChissano and former presidents of South Africa Thabo Mbeki and Botswana.

Mahinga said despite this Lake Malawi issue, the two countries continued to cooperate in other areas including those of trade.

“In the middle of all this disagreements, we have managed to isolate it. We have cooperated in the areas of political and economic spheres. The Lake Malawi issue is just one isolated issue,” he said.

Malawi’s Foreign Affairs Minister Francis Kasaila said both countries have agreed to restart stalled peace talks on Lake Malawi border disputes and speed up the process.

“His Excellency Professor Mutharika has told us to stay in constant talks with our counterparts in Tanzania until a lasting solution is found,” said Katsaira.

Katsaira said the government will be writing the high level negotiation team, comprising of retired African heads of state, to kick start the mediation process.

“We will be writing them this week so that they should know the starting point. The issue is, both Malawi and Tanzania are keen on the mediation talks. Our two principals want us to start the talks as soon as possible,” he said.

This follows the meeting of President Peter Mutharika and his Tanzanian counterpart, John Magufuli in Addis Ababa last week.

The neibhouring countries nearly went to war three years ago as Dar es Salaam claimed ownership of part of Lake Malawi after the discovery of oil in the lake.

Malawi disputes Tanzania’s claim to half the lake – Africa’s third biggest – which is potentially rich in oil and gas.

The neighbours have disagreed over their border since independence.

Malawi also wants Tanzania to withdraw a map that shows the border line passing in the middle of the disputed lake.

However, Tanzania  argue that the map was needed for administrative purposes and reflected the “actual boundary”.

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17 thoughts on “Tanzania says lake dispute not over, to fastrack mediation: Sign pact with Malawi”

  1. Tazan Ndingo Mwaiteleke says:

    The lake issue should be negotiated in African way. Let us as two black nations share the lake for our Two countries. We should not shed any blood of any black fellow for the lake dispute. I know Peter Mutharika who worked in Tanzania , and was enrolled as an advocate in Tanzania in 1973 ,, will encourage negotiation of these two best countries. To Peter Mutharika both Tanzania and Malawi are his Countries. He will not allow greedy and shed blacks bloods,, at the end we shall share the lake.

  2. Benga says:

    The boundary between Malawi and Tanzania is governed by the 1896 Treaty. Why is Malawi even negotiating? Mutharika, a lawyer himself, should know better. But he has proved to be very weak. Tanzania is trying to gain the lake slowly. The mediation team is also very slow. This should not even a month. Why is it taking years?

  3. Gerald mapanga Phiri says:

    There is a lakegate there. Wake up Malawian before it too late. Malawian is easy to be corrupted them just put money.

  4. mituka says:

    Peter Mtharika is failing to fulfil another campaign promise to Malawians. He was boasting during campaign time that the lake issue is not subject for discussion and he knew how to handle it. The former president started the negotiations which Peter and his team were castigating JB that she was failing to handle the issue by allowing negotiations to be conducted. It follows that he has also failed Malawians on the lake issue. I can now finally agree with observations that this Peter is drama. I remember some DDP thieves of that time could say that with Peter as a man Tanzania would no longer pursue the lake issue giving an impression that JB was not feared by Tz because she was a woman. What are you now telling the nation? What campaign promise are you now going to fulfill, and time for the next elections is fast approaching?

  5. Tz Star says:

    if disputed part of the lake belongs to malawi then why tanzanians have been using it for more than 50 years without any disturbance from malawi? and now tanzania is building three big ships for transport in the lake, how many do you have in malawi? u don’t know how to utilize the lake’s resources just leave it to them..

  6. shawa fc says:

    Dear Brethren, I am a bonafide Malawian and I want to talk about Lake Malawi dispute. The mediation team lacks credibility because Mozambique and Tanzania have something in common. When Samora was fighting the Portuguese he was hiding in Tanzania. Therefore, Chisano cannot hang his old time friend to the vulnerable Malawi. Though Mozambique seem to smile, she has question marks with Malawi since 1986. Please, read events between lines. I opt for ICJ in Hague to give judgement then the matter will be settled at once. Apparently Malawi is in deep slumber.

  7. Atusaye mwakabanga says:

    What kind of negotiations is malawi preparing to have with tanzania.This is ridiculous how can you draw a line in water&claim existence of boarders,if tanzania claims part of lake malawi as theirs then they must divert shire river into tanzania because shire river carries away part of its said waters.Malawi wake up&invest in oil&gas this is our lake,these tanzanians are jealousy of our riches lying under our lake&they know that we will no longer import oil&gas using their port&transporters it will be a loss of bussiness an advantage to malawi transporters coz they will carry production within&international for exports.Another goodness is that our M1 road from songwe boarder will be relieved from heavy weight oil cargo that runs over it daily that is weaken its capability of carriege longevity.Malawi its time to capitalise&not time to negotiate with tanzania on the lake issue they just want to delay&frustrate malawi on this riches that is to revive our nation economically.Let malawi patronise its resources.

  8. Warrior says:

    Way forward is to show the Israeli-lungs in us.

    Order Tanzania off the lake and if does not comply, use force. Good force for that matter and push them all the way to the original boundaries inside Dodoma.

    And if they strike back, lets get Dar es Salaam all the way to the Indian Ocean.

    We also need direct access to the ocean for our trade.

  9. Heinrich Dzinyemba says:

    The views of Tanzania Minister Mahinga on the border dispute are lies. In fact his country is using force to coerce Malawi.
    Do not trust Tanzanians on the issues raised. The 1890 treaty defines Malawi’s boundary with his country on the
    northeastern shores of Lake Malawi. It contains important abstract provisions. It is through its application that the 1890
    treaty “lives”. By applying it, Malawi is applying its content and scope in good faith. That implies that there is no need to
    introduce uncertainty and to devalue the 1890 treaty by assigning to subsequent practice other functions beyond those
    established by it.

    But Mahinga and his colleagues have dug in to overlook at the significance of that treaty. By drawing maps indicating a
    median line boundary it shows that the median line cannot be derived from an interpretation of the 1890 treaty. Thus such
    maps are drawn without t any reference to a treaty to which no party had any exchange of explanatory memoranda, cabinet
    reports by United Kingdom prime ministers to His or Her Majesty’s government, diplomatic despatches and copies of
    specification. Yet use of these related authoritative documents helps to explain and supplement maps. Besides, they help
    to identify deficiencies in the maps. Besides, there are no official administrative reports of the boundary commissioners
    detailing that a survey was conducted from the alleged median line on Lake Malawi to the northern bank of the mouth of
    Songwe River. In absence of such information, the median line that is crudely drawn on the map is a crude forgery. It cannot
    constitute a territorial title but a physical expression of Mahinga and others.

    It is not disputed that there are maps drawn from 1916 to 1934 showing a median line. At the same time, there is also much
    more evidence indicating a boundary on the northeastern shore line. All that evidence does not certainly point in one
    direction. In the arguments of seasoned legal experts, the 1890 treaty exhausts all the law and facts. As a consequence,
    Malawi’s boundary is derived from the 1890 treaty which got ratified by the House of Commons on July 31, 1890 by a vote
    of 209 to 61. Great Britain’s House of Commons as well as the House of Lords have never debated the Heligoland Bill to
    amend the ratified 1890 treaty so as to change the boundary prior to Malawi being granted independence.

    Surprisingly, in 1907 the commission that was working on a section of the Mozambique–Tanzania boundary from Txiunde
    River or Kwinde going eastwards to the M’sinje–Ruvuma confluence in order to place pillars did not concern itself with the
    task of fixing a tripoint with the British–German frontier on Lake Malawi. The alignment only considered the basis of a terminus on the lakeshore as
    as an indication that this was the tripoint with a frontier along the eastern shore line of Lake Malawi. The conclusion of the
    United States International Boundary Study is that the tripoint resulting from the demarcation of 1907 is at the mouth of
    Txiunde River . In the wisdom of the experts, this piece of information assumes a shoreline boundary between Malawi and
    Tanzania. Besides, the Malawi–Mozambique–Tanzania tripoint is located at the mouth of Txiunde River at the median line
    of the river. Chissano, Mbeki and Moage can go and view this Malawi–Mozambique–Tanzania tripoint at the mouth of
    Txiunde River. In they go to the mouth of the Songwe River, the Chissano, Mbeki and Moage mediators will not find any
    tripoint affixed to it. That goes to indicate that the only median line on Lake Malawi is the one which was agreed upon under
    the Anglo–Portuguese agreement of November 18, 1954 as described in the exchange of notes of May 6, 1920. Thus a treaty
    delineating borders is considered permanent. With this piece of information, Tanzanias are liars. They want to “annex” part
    of the lake on the guise the boundary was altered. Like Adolf Hiltler, they do not respect treaties establishing boundaries.
    They want to draw maps after annexing neighbouring territories i.e. Malawi. The question is: has the border dispute been filed
    with the International Court of Justice?

    1. jambo says:

      This is amazing. You got all the needed information bra

  10. JK says:

    This Peter is a stupid boy lets take him out 2019. Now is on the position he s not a MALAWIAN I tell you. He s from TZ, No wonder he does not have teeth

  11. tozer tsono says:

    Tanzania is atleast two steps or more ahead of Malawi on this Lake discussion. If Malawi does not watch out, she will lose more than the Lake to Tanzania. Tanzania has used the Lake for many years without threat of war from Malawi. Malawi is playing defensive instead of offensive, essentially losing the upper hand if the case were to go to the International Court.. Malawi ought to ask Tanzania to stop using the L:ake for any purpose until after the negotiations. Incase Malawi does not know, Tanzania is also negotiating for Mozambique’s access to the agreement. If Tanzania gets their wish, why can’t Mozambique claim the same? Yeah, give them Likoma and Chidzumula Islands, which will fall in Mozambique’s half. By agreeing to discuss on Tanzania’s condition, you are willfully agreeing that there is substance to Tanzania’s quest. Do seek legal help both nationally and internationally before engaging Tanzania. They have their mapped out their strategy and can almost anticipate what Malawi will say and do. They will make you lose the case before you attempt to appeal to International court. Besides, the Lake is not just a body of water. The Environment around the Lake also counts as part and parcel of the Lake. If one dug in the sands along the Lake, you would soon hit the water from the Lake. So get proper definitions and original size of the Lake before smiling silly in self-assurance that you know what you are doing. There is another reason Tanzania is pushing for the so called half of the Lake; It is not just oil. It will be given to you through the grape vine. Do not write to my email to try to get why Tanzania is flexing her muscles. Watch for the grape vine.

  12. Yahya Jammeh says:

    I am not surprised because I said it when Nyasa Times broke the news that there were positive signs for a breakthrough when Mutharika and Magufuli met recently on the sidelines of AU summit in Addis. Some people with small brains quickly celebrated, but I warned that what these two leaders demonstrated was typical of politicians’ behaviour – we should “wait and see’ because Tanganyika is a snake in the grass. There you are now, Tanganyika is coming slowly to tell us that it is not for half measures, but to get what it wants. Do you know why the UN is considered uneffective organisation? It uses diplomacy wrongly as a results peple suffer- a case in point is the siyuation is South Sudan and elsehwere. People are now calling for reform of the UN becquse it has proved to be a failure in the name of diiplomacy. Look at what ECOWAS did in the Gambia election dispute, if it took the path of the UN, Adama Barrow would have lost the presidency and would have been in exile instead the opposite happened because the organisation took a decisive role. The UN problem is similar to the conduct of the so-called Lake Malawi mediators,Chisano and team who are happy to eat our money without producing tangible results. I will rule Gambia for 1 billion years,.

  13. King Simba says:

    I believe our president has sold part of the lake…. Something fishy happened when these 2 presidents held talks in Ethiopia…

  14. tozer tsono says:

    Tanzania is atleast two steps or more ahead of Malawi on this Lake discussion. If Malawi does not watch out, she will lose more than the Lake to Tanzania. Tanzania has used the Lake for many years without threat of war from Malawi. Malawi is playing defensive instead of offensive, essentially losing the upper hand if the case were to go to the International Court.. Malawi ought to ask Tanzania to stop using the L:ake for any purpose until after the negotiations. Incase Malawi does not know, Tanzania is also negotiating for Mozambique’s access to the agreement. If Tanzania gets their wish, why can’t Mozambique claim the same? Yeah, give them Likoma and Chidzumula Islands, which will fall in Mozambique’s half. By agreeing to discuss on Tanzania’s condition, you are willfully agreeing that there is substance to Tanzania’s quest. Do seek legal help both nationally and internationally before engaging Tanzania. They have their mapped out their strategy and can almost anticipate what Malawi will say and do. They will make you lose the case before you attempt to appeal to International court. Besides, the Lake is not just a body of water. The Environment around the Lake also counts as part and parcel of the Lake. If one dug in the sands along the Lake, you would soon hit the water from the Lake. So get proper definitions and original size of the Lake before smiling silly in self-assurance that you know what you are doing. There is another reason Tanzania is pushing for the so called half of the Lake; It will be given to you through grape vine. Do not write to my email to try to get why Tanzania is flexing her muscles. Watch for the grape vine.

  15. The Lake belongs to Malawians

  16. mabusa says:

    That is Tanzania, keep on sleeping Malawians and get convinced with lies what your president feeds you.

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