Tanzania has joined Malawi in saying the border dispute between the two countries does not necessitate war.
This was disclosed on Thursday by Tanzania’s Minister responsible for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Bernard Kamillius Membe when he met his Malawian counterpart, Ephraim Mganda Chiume, in Maputo.
Meanwhile, in a rare gesture of national unity, almost all leaders of opposition parties that met President Joyce Banda on Wednesday, on Thursday went to see her off to the Sadc summit in Mozambique.
President Banda is facing one of her toughest test since assuming office in April as Tanzania has made a claim over Lake Malawi.
Banda said before departure that she was looking forward to meeting Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete to find a solution to the border wrangle.
The President, who boarded a South African Airways commercial flight via Johannesburg to Maputo for the summit, said the meeting will also push for regional integration issues.
The opposition leaders included MCP president John Tembo, veteran Gwanda Chakuamba, PPM’s Mark Katsonga and Kamlepo Kalua.
Meanwhile, Chiume disclosed in an interview with the Malawi News Agency (Mana) in Maputo on Thursday the issue between Malawi and Tanzania is a bilateral one and that Malawi has refused to call it a conflict.
He said on Wednesday morning he had a meeting with his counterpart who assured him that there is no way Tanzania can ever declare war on Malawi and that the two countries’ activities and co-existence will continue as before.
Chiume said his counterpart guaranteed him that the current war rumours are emotional and unfortunate statements of some irresponsible leaders in Tanzania.
Said the minister: “We have made arrangements that as soon as President Banda comes to Maputo on the 16th of August, she is going to meet her counterpart President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete to get an assurance that Tanzania is not going to lodge war against Malawi.”