THE situation pertaining to the territorial disputes along the Zambia-Malawi border in the Eastern Province may just warrant more urgent attention.
Developments whereby some individuals along some portions of the disputed territory are taking matters into their own hands and acting unilaterally are disturbing indicators.
We concur with the sentiments expressed by Eastern Province Deputy Minister Boniface Nkhata that the situation is worrying.
The vandalising and removal of beacons by some Malawians is a lawless and disrespectful act.
The beacons erected by Zambian authorities are official territory markers and are part of the process of seeking ways of resolving the territorial imbroglio along the Chama-Lundazi Mwami border area amicably.
By forcibly removing the beacons, the perpetrators are not only being dismissive of these efforts but also complicating and delaying the matter.
Such disregard for lawfully constituted processes to resolve the border demarcations can only serve to fuel anarchyalong the border.
What is perturbing is that there appears to be no action on the part of the responsible law enforcement authorities to track down the perpetrators and bring them to book.
The fact that some of the uprooted beacons are actually located in some of the villages up to now would surely make it easy to pinpoint those that are culpable.
The objective would be to demonstrate a clear resolve on both sides that such acts of lawlessness would not be tolerated by taking appropriate deterrent measures.
We would like to believe that there are official local administrative structures in these areas responsible for maintaining law and order.
Their seeming inaction therefore is a shirking of their responsibilities.
We acknowledge the historical bonds between the peoples of the two countries, and the arbitrariness of the original borders drawn by the colonialists.
Societies, however, are always evolving, and humanity now is at a stage where universal convention holds that territorial boundaries will be observed and honoured regardless.
The Zambian Government has demonstrated a genuine commitment to resolving the border dispute with Malawi.
At Zambia's initiating, vice presidents of both countries have met before to discuss a speedy way forward over the matter.
The onus now is on the technocrats on the ground to speedily interpret the policy positions on the border demarcation and effect them as soon as possible.