The Citizen (Dar es Salaam)

4 February 2010

Tanzania: Discussions to Solve Malawi Border Conflict Soon

Photo: Daily News
Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Mr. Bernard Membe has called on Malawi to cease oil exploration in the disputed lake (file photo).

Dodoma — The government has directed the relevant authorities to convene technical procedures to work on boundary conflicts with the neighbouring Malawi.

Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda said negotiations have been underway between Tanzania and Malawi to reach consensus on the boundary conflict. However, he admitted that there has for a long time been a tag of war in agreeing on where exactly the boundary is located.

Tanzania and Malawi have been in an underground conflict on the boundary on Lake Nyasa. Despite the ongoing tag of war between the two countries, Pinda expressed hopes that the matter can be resolved through international procedures.

"It is true that the issue has taken a long time. However, it is discussable and there are international procedures to solve such matters," noted Pinda. The Prime Minister was responding to question by Ludewa MP Professor Raphael Mwalyosi who wanted to know if the government has failed to resolve the matter.

The MP also wanted to know if the negotiations between the two countries on the boundary location would by any means affects any development programmes. In his response, Pinda assured MPs that the government will make sure that talks are held in order to avoid any obstacles on development programmes that would be caused by the ongoing conflict.

Meanwhile, the government said it will conduct an in-depth investigation to establish whether there are non citizens who have been registered in the voters register. Prime Minister Pinda told the parliament in Dodoma yesterday that there is a need to conduct investigation in order to remove names of non citizens in the registry.

He urged the public to disclose the culprits to relevant authorities such as the Immigration department. "Only Tanzania citizens are allowed by the law to vote. It is then illegal for non citizens to register as voters. It is in general not their right to vote," insisted Pinda. Responding to a question by Mkanyageni MP Mohammed Mnyaa, Prime Minister Pinda said the government is still looking into the issue of dual citizenship to establish whether it would be appropriate.

However, he said any decision by the government to allow dual citizenship would be taken in line with the country's and the public best interest. "The system of dual citizenship is not applicable in all countries but few powerful countries, and in order for it to work, it must be applicable in both countries," he said.

The MP wanted to know what steps the government is taking in restricting non citizens who were registered in the voter's register. Mnyaa who said that there are rumours that non citizens were registered as voters, urged for in depth investigation to identify and restrict them from the electoral process.

He claimed that Tanzanians of Mozambican origin who were registered in voter's register in the country have participated in general elections in Mozambique.

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