Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu has maintained that Malawi and Tanzania lake talks which were put to a halt in a deadlock two months ago, will resume in September.

According to Tembenu, Malawians should exercise as government is holding the negotiations with their counterparts.

Head of the mediating team, former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano is quoted by allafrica.com as having publicly admitted that the talks reached a “deadlock” as the two sides have adopted “rigid” positions.

“The two delegations have rigid positions on the question of the border. Malawi wants the border to be on the eastern shore of the lake, which is the Tanzanian coast, while Tanzania argues that a line of limitation should be drawn down the middle of the lake,” Chissano is quoted in the publication following a meeting held on 20 and 21 March.

The meeting was chaired by former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ephraim Chiume, and his counterpart, Bernard Membe, in Maputo, Mocambique. Chissano said: “We want to avoid taking the dispute to court for a solution. We believe that the two sides will continue to exchange notes, which will certainly clarify certain points, and this could lead to a new approach in the discussions.”

He is also said to have asked the two governments to meet half way in resolving the dispute so that both Mozambicans and Malawians benefit.

In the last mediation meeting Chiume said: “We trust the mediation team, and it is our intention to solve this problem in a friendly way, maintaining the brotherly ties which unite African peoples.”

Since the row broke out in April 2012, there has been an outpouring of varying opinions on the matter and a series of rivalry in the borders.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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