The High Level Mediation Team (HLMT) leading the talks on the Lake Malawi boundary dispute is yet to communicate on dates it plans to meet President Peter Mutharika and his Tanzanian counterpart, John Magufuli, it has been established.
The team proposed last month after a two-day mediation meeting in Pretoria, South Africa to consult the two Presidents on the way forward on the matter. Both sides to the mediation—Malawi and Tanzania—agreed with the proposal and a three-month timeframe was set.
However, since the proposal was made, the two Heads of State are yet to be communicated to on proposed dates.
In an interview yesterday, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesperson Rejoice Shumba said that in as far as the HLMT is the one responsible to set the dates of the meeting, they are prepared and waiting on them.
She said: “We are supposed to wait for the mediation team to organise the dates because the outcome from the mediation talks that took place last month were that they [HLMT] were to brief the two Heads of State, and both parties agreed.”
However, when asked if there was any communication that was made from the HLMT, Shumba asked for more time to consult.
The mediation talks last month commenced after Tanzania had in May this year failed to honour the talks scheduled for Johannesburg, South Africa on May 8 and 9.
A week before the Tanzanian delegation failed to make it, former Tanzania High Commissioner Victoria Mwakasege said her country, which has since 2012 renewed its claim of half of the north eastern part of Lake Malawi, wants a share of oil resources on the lake.
In the lake border dispute, Malawi asserts full ownership of the water body, except the south eastern stretch in Mozambique whereas Tanzania is claiming the north eastern half.
Malawi bases its argument on a July 1 1980 treaty between Germany and Britain that maps between the two countries along the Tanzanian shores. n