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Analyst faults African Union on Lake Malawi compromise

Political analysts have faulted the African Union(AU) and the Southern Africa Development Community(Sadc) for agitating for Malawi and Tanzania to reach a compromise on Lake Malawi.

Chancellor College-based political analysts Ernest Thindwa told The Daily Times on Thursday that the Sadc Region being apolitical block should have devised a way of dealing with the foreign policy or diplomatic issues and not leaving Malawi and Tanzania to sort their differences on their own.

Thindwa was reacting to an article that we published on September 12, 201 titled ‘Lake Malawi Row, AU Leaves it to Malawi, Tanzania”.

The article quoted African Union Regional Delegate to Southern Africa, Sadc, and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) Augustine Ngomo who said AU is not ready to assist in resolving the Lake Malawi row involving Malawi and Tanzania.

He said the long, lasting solution for such a problem is for both countries to look at the issue in a Pan-African way and probably reach a compromise to share the proceeds from the lake.

But Thindwa questioned this stand and observed it leaves a lot to be desired.

“This gives the impression that the Sadc grouping does not perhaps have the capacity to deal with foreign affairs issues. The regional grouping is not just economic but also political and leaving it to Malawi and Tanzania raises questions and its worrying to me” said Thindwa.

In a separate interview, United Independence Party President Hellen Singh accused the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for not doing enough to make Tanzania back off.

“We were invited to Kamuzu Palace to meet the Sadc negotiators. The president introduced the topic and asked his ministers to speak. To my surprise, all of his ministers did not speak. Were they making a fool of us or they had already made a decision? What could their silence mean in such a very important meeting?” Singh wondered.

Meanwhile, Chief Secretary to Government George Mkondiwa is reported to have issued a warning to all controlling officers to disregard the documents that Tanzania is promoting that the northern part of the lake belongs to it.

Malawi and Tanzania have been involved in a dispute over the ownership of Lake Malawi since 2012, when there were reports of oil exploration on the lake.

Tanzania is claiming the northern part of the lake while Malawi says the whole lake belongs to it.

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