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Parliament calls for speed in Malawi-Tanzania lake dispute

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By Audrey Kapalamula:

The Parliamentary Committee on International Relations has called for speed in mediation talks between Malawi and Tanzania on Lake Malawi ownership.

The committee, in a September 2017 to April 2018 report presented to Parliament, notes that the matter is taking too long to be settled.

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Chairperson of the committee, Alex Major, has also demanded an explanation on why the government of Tanzania is using the waters for transport.

“The committee noted that mediation talks are taking too long; we need to conclude them. Further, the committee noted that Tanzania deployed vessels on Lake Malawi which were transporting people and I am sure the government needs to explain to the public on that,” he said

Major also lamented failure by stakeholders to engage Parliament in resolving the matter.

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“You can agree with me that Parliament is the house that represents people and, in these talks, Malawian citizens are involved,” he said

The committee has since recommended that stakeholders in the talks must inform the august House on terms reached for Tanzania’s transport sector to be using the lake now.

The mediation talks on the boundary dispute commenced in 2013 led by High Level Mediation Team of the Sadc (Southern African Development Community) Forum for African Former Heads of State and Government.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation told members of the committee that, since the onset of mediation talks, the two parties have met three times.

The ministry also said it was courting the Treasury to provide more funds for Malawi to be prepared to handle the dispute.

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