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“We don’t want war with Malawi over Lake Nyasa” – Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete

President Jakaya Kikwete has maintained that Tanzania will not engage in any war with Malawi as a means to resolve Lake Nyasa boundary dispute.

“It is possible to get a solution over the issue of boundary on the Lake without engaging in wars. Tanzania does not see the need of war,” he said stressing that it is possible to clear off the disputes through sensitive mediations between the two (Malawi and Tanzania) and any other boundaries.

Kikwete made the statement when addressing a public rally at Mbamba Bay Stadium in Nyasa District, Ruvuma Region.

He told the ‘Wananchi’ at the area that efforts were underway to ensure the row between Tanzania and Malawi over the boundary of the Lake is resolved once and for all.

He said officials from the top level including former Presidents from various countries have been summoned to help in resolving the issue over Lake Nyasa Boundary. Some of the Former Presidents include President Joachim Chissano of Mozambique, Festus Mogae of Botswana and Thabo Mbeki from South African.

The dispute was prompted by Malawi fishing and tourist boats allegedly encroaching on Tanzanian territorial waters on the grounds that the whole water body belongs to their country.

Whereas Malawi maintains that it owns the entire Lake, Tanzania claims the border is in the middle of the Water body seeking 50 per cent of the ownership of the Lake while Malawi claims 100 per cent ostensibly that the whole part of the lake under dispute belong to them.

Home to 1,000 endemic species of fish, estimated to be more than any other place on earth, Lake Nyasa has an estimated fish stock of 168,000 tonnes.

Meanwhile, President Kikwete has assured the ‘Wananchi’ at Nyasa of government’s commitment towards settling down a plan to purchase a new ship that will operate at the Lake (Lake Nyasa).

When campaigning for Presidency in 2010, President Kikwete pledged to purchase three ships to provide services at Lakes Victoria, Tanganyika and Nyasa.

He said some 23b/- have been set aside to settle down the plan. He assured the ‘Wananchi’ that the government will also settle down the plan of constructing a railway line from Mtwara to Mbamba Bay to connect the area with other Regions in terms of business interaction towards economic growth.

The President was in the Region (Ruvuma) for a six-day tour. While at Nyasa, President Kikwete launched the Ruhekei Bridge at Mkalole Village, eight kilometres from Mbamba Bay.

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