JB Meets Opposition Leaders On Tanzania Again: Journalists Bared From Asking Questions After Waiting For 5 Hours, No Food

Opposition Leaders: Met President Banda Again On The Malawi/Tanzania Boarder Row

President Joyce Banda has, today, been meeting leaders of various political parties in her continuation of soliciting views on the boarder wrangle that has erupted between Malawi and Tanzania over the ownership of Lake Malawi.

The meeting follows a recent declaration by Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete that his country deserves equal share in the lake Tanzania rivers are some of the largest tributaries emptying into the lake.

On August 15, President Banda also met Malawi Congress Party (MCP) leader John Tembo, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Secretary General Wakuda Kamanga, United Democratic Front (UDF) leaders Friday Jumbe and George nga Ntafu, Peoples Progressive Movement (PPM) president Mark Katsonga Phiri, veteran politicians Gwanda Chakuamba and Kamlepo Kalua.

Special appearance on Joyce Banda’s guests list wasMalawi’s prominent historian and economist Desmond Dudwa Phiri, fondly known as DD Phiri, and academician Profesor Brown Chimphamba.

As was the case with the Lilongwe meeting, delegates also choose to keep a tight lid on what transpired in the caucus, despite the fact that journalists who went to Sanjika Palice for the official handover of medicines from Toyota Malawi to president Banda were asked to wait for the meeting.

“We have been held up here, since morning, only to be told they are not granting interviews. This is venom of higher degree,” fumed one of the journalists.

President Kikwete is quoted by Tanzania media that in his month-end address to the nation, he  argued it would be illogical to ask his country’s citizens to simply give up the lake, where Lilongwe has awarded an oil exploration licence to a British firm, Surestream.

Tanzania wants the border to be at the centre of the lake and Malawi insists that the border should be along the shores.

President Kikwete said the Anglo-German Treaty of 1890  – an agreement between then-colonial powers Germany and Britain –that gave Malawi sole ownership of Lake Malawi  was flawed and Tanzania has every reason to demand it be corrected.

He  argued that the treaty denies Tanzanians living on the shores of Lake Malawi  their given right to utilize proximate water and marine resources to earn their daily living.

Too Early For Smile?:Tanzania President With Joyce Banda

Malawi President Mrs Joyce Banda  is pursuing a non-confrontation approach in the negociations but her government has maintained that Malawi owns the entire lake under an 1890 agreement .

The Tanzania President also said he had assured there will be no  use of military to solve the dispute, saying people should “get rid of fear of war.”

Kikwete in his address said three years after Malawi gained independence from Britain, on January 3, 1967, the Government of Tanzania wrote a letter to the government of Malawi to explain the border issues and recommend talks for the two countries to come up with a solution.

He said Malawi replied on 24 January 1967 acknowledging receiving the letter and promised that they will provide the answers in a short while. However, he said on June 27, 1967, President Kamuzu Banda while addressing the National Assembly of Malawi, refused Tanzania’s request, saying that Tanzania’s claim was not genuine and that historically Songea, Njombe and Mbeya was part of Malawi, thus, negotiations came to a halt.

“Tanzania did not give up. When Bakili Muluzi was elected, new efforts were made but they did not pay off,” Kikwete is quoted as saying.

“On June 9, 2005, Malawi’s third president, Bingu Wa Mutharika, who is now dead, wrote a letter to former Tanzanian president, Benjamin William Mkapa and advised him that our two countries should negotiate on the border of Lake Nyasa,” Tanzania leader said..

Kikwete argued that the  Anglo-Germany Heligoland  treaty is erroneous because it contravenes international law that requires riparian states to share adjoining water resources.

“It is our opinion that our countries do what the Anglo-German boundary commission did not do. Let’s do it as sovereign states through negotiations,” said the President.

The negociating teams of the two countries meeting recently in Malawi failed to come to mutual agreement and the next round of talks is scheduled for September 10 to 14 in Dar es Salaam.

The two countries will discuss the option of mediation by a third party with the possibility that a council of wise men under African Union (AU) would step in and help broker a settlement.

Should mediation efforts hit the rock, Malawi and Tanzania will have to take their case to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for legal resolution.

13 Comments for “JB Meets Opposition Leaders On Tanzania Again: Journalists Bared From Asking Questions After Waiting For 5 Hours, No Food”

  1. mavuto kondwani

    Very true. We should not even have started negotiating. Why should we when the lake is ours. It is clear that they started this issue in 1967 but no one gave them the time of day to even sit down and negotiate. this has shown weekness on our part. The answer should have been the lake is ours and there is nothing to negotiate. Now that we have started this by accepting to negotiate, it has to come to a solution, and from what I can see its going to end badly. NO NEGOTIATION on a lake that has always been ours.

  2. worried Malawian

    Stand our ground Joyce, dont give in!

  3. johnM

    She engages in too much consultations. She should learn to be decisive and take decisive steps when an issue comes up. These constant consultations show that she is out of her depths as far as I am concerned.

  4. God is in control,the Egyptians you see them today you shall see them no more.No nation is bigger than God,no weapon is bigger than God ,No wisdom is greater than God,no president is bigger than God,no soldier is greater than God and no problem is bigger than God.God is man of war,His name is LORD,He has never failed his choosen people,Malawi is the warm heart of Africa this means the favoured one of God.Its just like the choosen Isreal.All God chosen Nations are sorrounded by enemies.Nigerial ,Isreal,now Malawi,Prayer for these nations.GOD IS IN CONTROL

    • That same God gave the lake to all people around it, to line on it. Now you deny people who live on east shores of the lake their Godly rights and you use the name of God to be selfish. Yes, God shall judge and to your wonder, God will tell you that you share the lake with your neighbour because I gave it to both of you. The most important thing; Let peace prevail, in the name of Jesus. Amen

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