Tanzania to purchase new ship to sail on Lake Malawi: Kikwete says no war

Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete says his country will not engage in any war with Malawi as a means to resolve the border dispute on Lake Malawi (also known as Lake Nyasa in Tanzania) but disclosed  a plan to purchase a new ship that will operate at the lake.

Tanzanian newspapers are reporting  that Kikwete made the remarks over the weekend when he was addressing a public rally at Mbamba Bay Stadium in Nyasa District, Ruvuma Region.

“It is possible to get a solution over the issue of boundary on the Lake without engaging in wars. Tanzania does not see the need of war,” Kikwete is quoted saying.

He stressed that it is possible to clear off the disputes through sensitive mediations between the two (Malawi and Tanzania) and any other boundaries.

President of Tanzania Jakaya Kikwete; No war on border dispute
President of Tanzania Jakaya Kikwete; No war on border dispute

He said officials from the top level including former Presidents from various countries have been summoned to help in resolving the issue over Lake Nyasa Boundary.

Some of the former Presidents include President Joachim Chissano of Mozambique, Festus Mogae of Botswana and Thabo Mbeki from South African.

The dispute was prompted by Malawi fishing and tourist boats allegedly encroaching on Tanzanian territorial waters on the grounds that the whole water body belongs to their country.

Whereas Malawi maintains that it owns the entire Lake, Tanzania claims the border is in the middle of the Water body seeking 50 per cent of the ownership of the Lake while Malawi claims 100 per cent ostensibly that the whole part of the lake under dispute belong to them.

Home to 1,000 endemic species of fish, estimated to be more than any other place on earth, Lake Nyasa has an estimated fish stock of 168,000 tonnes.

However,  President Kikwete assured the ‘Wananchi’ at Nyasa of  Tanzania government’s commitment towards settling down a plan to purchase a new ship that will operate at the Lake (Lake Nyasa).

When campaigning for Presidency in 2010, President Kikwete pledged to purchase three ships to provide services at Lakes Victoria, Tanganyika and Nyasa.

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