As talks aimed at coming up with solutions to the border dispute between Tanzania and Malawi continue in camera at Sunbird Mzuzu, officials from both sides on Tuesday remained mum on progress.
But an inside source said the two sides â€œhave dug their heels into their respective countryâ€™s legal and historical positions.â€
While Malawiâ€™s Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Principal Secretary Patrick Kabambe refused to give an update of the progress on the deliberations, our source said the Tanzanian delegation was basing its position on Section 6 of the Anglo-Germany Treaty which gives room for corrections and countries to renegotiate their territorial boundaries.
Said the source: â€œMalawiâ€™s position is that such negotiations for corrections can only take place with the consent of the country to be affected. The Tanzanian delegation also claims that Malawi allowed Mozambique to take part of Lake Malawi and wondered why Malawi was not doing the same with Tanzania.â€
The source said Malawiâ€™s response to Mozambiqueâ€™s right of claim to part of Lake Malawi is that there were written agreements for such a position and that Mozambique gave up some of its land to be able to use the lake.
The technical meeting in Mzuzu, which is expected to come up with common grounds to end the age-old boundary dispute, will wind up today before the delegates move to Lilongwe for a joint ministerial meeting which will come up with recommendations for presidents Joyce Banda and Jakaya Kikwete.
The deliberations, which started on Monday, were curtailed prematurely on the first day to allow both sides to scrutinise each otherâ€™s legal and historical position papers.
The meeting was supposed to resume on Tuesday by 8 am, but failed to do so until well after lunch as the Tanzanian team was still looking at the Malawi documents at the Ilala Crest Lodge, where the delegation is housed.