Jul 16, 2018 Last Updated 2:58 PM, Jul 12, 2018


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Malawians are calling for the country’s leadership to find a permanent solution with Tanzania on the Lake Malawi claim by Dodoma.

Tanzania continues to argue that the northern part of the lake is on its side.

In July last year, the SADC former Heads of State, who are the mediators on the issue, recommended the leaders of the two countries to meet to map the way forward.

Almost a year after the recommendation from the mediators, President Peter Mutharika and his Tanzanian counterpart John Magufuli have not met.

It was after two day mediation talks in Pretoria South Africa in July last year where the High Level Mediation Team led by former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano proposed the meeting.

Delegates from both Malawi and Tanzania had accepted the proposal that their leaders would start meeting in three months time from July last,a development which is yet to be realised.

Just at the time when expectations were high to see what would transpire at the meeting between the two heads of state, the public is still waiting on what the final solution will be on the issue.

While emphasizing that they strongly believe that they are the sole owners of the lake, Malawians think their government should be quick in resolving the matter for good.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs through its spokesperson Rejoice Shumba told Capital FM that they are waiting for the Mediation Team to advice on the exact day when the talks would start.

Asked as to whether Malawi has ever sought update from the mediation team on the proposed meeting, Shumba says they have not.

Minus the former Mozambican leader, the mediation team comprises Thambo Mbeki and Festus Mogae who are former presidents of South Africa and Botswana respectively.

Malawians insist that the whole Lake Malawi belongs to them as established by Article 1(2) of the 1890 Anglo-Germany Treaty.

On the other hand, Tanzania claims the boundary is the median line of the lake, based on principles of customary international law.

Tanzanian conjoined twins Maria and Consolata Mwakikuti have died at the age 21 after suffering respiratory complications at a local hospital.

The women, who were joined from the navel downwards and shared organs like the liver and lungs, had two hearts and separate heads and arms.

They were admitted to hospital in December due to issues relating to heart disease but died on Saturday.

The twins were popular in Tanzania and the news has caused sadness nationwide.

Many people took to social media on Sunday to send messages of condolence to the family and friends.

Tanzanian President John Magufuli tweeted that he was "saddened" by their deaths, adding that Consolata and Maria had "dreamed of serving the nation".

In an interview with the BBC last year, the twins said that after they had completed their university education, they wanted to become teachers.

"We will teach using a projector and computers," they said.

People later remarked on their determination to acquire higher education qualifications regardless of a challenging system, which often found their condition hard to accommodate.

They were able to continue their studies as they grew older thanks in part to funding from local government and private donations.

Maria and Consolata, who were against the idea of being surgically separated, also told the BBC that they hoped to get married to one husband someday.

The two, whose parents died while they were still infants, were raised by the Catholic charity Maria Consolata, which had adopted and named them.

Last year, their high school graduation triggered a wave of congratulatory messages nationwide.

Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Mozambique and Zimbabwe plan to form a regional bloc for tobacco producing nations in the SADC region.

Local trade and agriculture authorities have been meeting these other tobacco producing countries to enhance their regional block agenda.

This is in the hope of ensuring that they are able to speak with one strong voice, to avoiding being ripped off by international buyers.

Issues of pricing have been a shared problem in most of the tobacco producing countries, as international buyers tend to offer low prices for good leaf.

Director of Trade in the Ministry Christina Chatima discloses that the anti-smoking lobby is still their main challenge and they believe the coming together of the countries will help in voicing out concerns on the matter.

She adds that discussions on the union are progressing well and that they were to meet at the end of May.

Meanwhile Trade Spokesperson Wiskesi Mkombezi confirms the meeting has taken place.

Mkombezi however points out that the delegation that attended the talks is yet to furnish them with details of what has transpired at the meeting.

Police in Tanzania have arrested seven people in the south-eastern city of Arusha for their alleged role in planning an anti-government protest tomorrow, BBC Swahili reports.

The city's deputy police boss, Yusuph Ilembo, told reporters that the "government will not allow an illegal protest being planned by a few people to destabilise the country".

Organisers of the protest accuse President John Magufuli of being a dictator. They say that his government has been silencing critics and that that he has passed laws that have undermined freedom of expression.

The arrests come amid a travel advisory by the UK foreign office warning its citizens to avoid large crowds in Tanzania tomorrow.

The chief organiser of the event is popular online activist Mange Kimambi.

She has two million followers on Instagram and over the past year-and-a-half has used her profile on the social media site to promote Mr Magufuli back when he was a presidential hopeful, but to now to call for "the mother of all anti-Magufuli protests".

Malawi's Immigration Department is warning those who are aiding illegal entry of foreign nationals into Malawi that they will face the law.

According to Deputy Spokesperson for the department Wellington Chiponde, people especially in border posts help the illegal immigrants to find their way into the country.

“Some Malawians have a tendency of helping foreigners get things they are not allowed to get, so this is just a warning to them.

This tendency has led to the increasing numbers of illegal immigrants, a development which is said to be causing a security threat,’’ Chiponde explained.

The department has since arrested about 115 foreign nationals without proper documentation through a nationwide routine sweeping exercise which it carried out.

They are from countries such as Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi.

On this Chiponde, pointed out that they will ensure people, who are residing in the country illegally, should be sent back to their countries of origin.

He further emphasized the need for the citizenry to report any foreign nationals living in the country illegally as they pose a security threat.

The illegal immigrants that have been arrested are being kept in custody awaiting deportation while some have been returned to refugee camps.


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