President Peter Mutharika has said Malawi owns the whole of Lake Malawi putting questions of his silence on the lake ownership saga to rest.
Mutharika was very noisy while campaigning prior to the 2014 presidential elections, bashing the then president, Joyce Banda, for choosing diplomacy with Tanzania who claim the northern part of the of the lake.
He then went silent when he became president.
While Mutharika was silent, Tanzanian President John Magufuli was still claiming his country owns part of Lake Malawi.
The Tanzanians said an old map which was drawn before Malawi got its independence from the British clearly shows a good chunk of the waters of the lake belongs to Tanzania.
But speaking on Wednesday in the lakeshore district of Mangochi during this year’s World Water Day commemorations, Mutharika said the lake is wholly owned by Malawi, describing it as the pride of Malawi that needs guarding jealously.
“Lake Malawi is ours. When I say this I mean the whole lake. Let nobody make a mistake about that because this lake is for our nation,” said Mutharika.
Ironically, he hinted on government plans to open up the lake to oil exploration, plans environmental activists say would endanger the lives of millions who rely on the lake for fish and water.
More than 80 percent of Malawi’s population rely on fish from the lake as their primary means of food.