As Tanzania and Malawi are still fighting over the long-time territorial dispute concerning Lake Malawi, thought to sit over highly coveted oil and gas reserves, the wrangle has taken another level as Tanzanian government blames the colonial masters over the dispute.
Malawi recently cut off dialogue concerning the border issue after intelligence reports showed that Tanzanian troops starts patrolling the eastern side of the lake while negotiations were still in place.
Recently Malawi president Joyce Banda said her country will take the long standing dispute with Tanzania to the International Court of Justice for arbitration.
Banda’s move to call for arbitration follows reports that Tanzania troops arrested and harassed Malawian fishermen in the disputed waters.
Malawi also accused Tanzania for including the lake in its new map and harassing Malawian fishermen.
“ I have decided to take the matter to the international Court of Justice to determine and resolve this wrangle, the issue has gone too far and Malawi will seek international help to ensure that justice prevails” Banda was quoted in the local media.
Speaking in an interview Malawi minister of foreign Affairs, Ephraim Chiume, also accused Tanzania for including lake Malawi on their new map without reaching an agreement.
Msiska said it is very unfortunate that director of survey a Mr Mayunda who developed the new map was a chief negotiator between Tanzania and Malawi.
“Issuing a new map which includes Lake Malawi means that the dispute has been cleared, however the negotiations are still going on, it shows that Tanzania is not ready to negotiate” said Msiska”
Msika added “Deploying troops to patrol our lake it is like they are calling for war, Tanzania is challenging us however this is a legal matter and that is the reason why we are seeking support from the International Court of Injustice.
However Tanzania government has challenged Malawi to go ahead and take the boundary wrangle to the International Court of Justice .
Speaking in a telephone interview Tanzania High Commissioner to South Africa Ravhia Msuya blamed colonial masters , Britain and Germany on the issue.
Msuya claimed that Malawi, Tanzania and Mozambique use to share Lake Malawi before the colonial era but it was later divided.
“We are only claiming what is ours and nobody is to blame here despite the colonial masters, back then we use to share the lake that is the reason why we have nyasa speaking people in both Tanzania and Malawi.’
She further rejects Malawi’s claims that her government is patrolling and harassing Malawian fisher men saying it’s only defending its territory, She claimed that 50 percent of the lake which forms its borders with Malawi belongs to Tanzania.
Msuya further conquered with her Malawian counterpart Tanzania’s High Commissioner to Malawi Patric Tsere saying she’s confident that talks on the border dispute will resume soon.
She said that Malawian authorities had not formally informed the Tanzanian government that it is pulling out of the talks.