Tanzania government has hit back at the statement by Malawi for its claim of ownership of Lake Nyasa, saying the country would defend its territorial integrity and observe international laws.
The Acting Leader of government businesses in Parliament Samweli Sitta made the remarks here yesterday after Mbozi- East Legislator Godfrey Zambi informed the National Assembly that Malawi government through its Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary has announced that Lake Nyasa belonged to Malawi.
Sitta who is also the East Africa Cooperation minister said that the government has been shocked by the news because the discussion concerning the beacons of Lake Nyasa was proceeding.
Sitta noted that the official statement by the government will be issued to the Parliament on Monday by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Using Section 68 (7) of the Parliamentary Standing Orders Zambi informed the House that there were reports which threatened the security of wananchi in Mbeya and Iringa concerning the ownership of Lake Malawi.
“My voters have been calling to inform me about the statement by the Malawi government that Lake Nyasa belonged to Malawi…this has interfered with people’s activities and threatened their security,” Zambi said.
The MP quoted the Principal Secretary “We categorically put to them (Tanzanians) that as far as we are concerned the entire Lake belongs to Malawi,” Zambi asked the government to issue its stance so that the Members of Parliament could have appropriate answers for their electorate.
Tanzania on Wednesday called for an amicable resolution to the dispute with Malawi over oil and gas exploration in the lake.
The two nations will hold talks on the disputed border in the northern Malawian town of Mzuzu on August 20.