It is often in vogue to appear patriotic and say: “Well, I am ready to shed my blood and I will die for Malawi.” I am told some people, high and low, have already started saying that with regard to Tanzania’s claim on Lake Malawi. “I fear nothing, bring the war, I am ready to die for my country!”
For me, this is silly talk. I have to say here and categorically so that I don’t want to die because of Lake Malawi. It is not worth it. I love my life. Although I know several times I have done things that have potential to cut off my life, but ladies and gentlemen, Lake Malawi is not any of things I want to die for. Nada.
Firstly, let me state that I have carefully reviewed the available documents I have laid hands on. It is clear that Lake Malawi belongs to both Mozambique and Malawi. So, something must be wrong with me to wish to die for a thing not worth fighting for. If any war were to start, I would leave the soldiers to fight. The soldiers are patriotic men and women who have selflessly decided to defend our soil and waters and air. Why should I undermine them and start thinking that I should die?
I am not trained to fight. Soldiers are trained for war. Soldiers are the people who when they die in battle, they die fighting and are heroes. If I died in battle, I can’t be called a hero. I will be a victim of the war. I would be called “innocent men, women and children” have been killed. Why would I choose to be a victim of war and not a hero?
Let me also make mention of the Sadc Mutual Defence Pact, which states that, “An armed attack against a State Party shall be considered a threat to regional security. Such an attack shall be met with immediate collective action by all State Parties.” So what this means is that if any country attacked Malawi, the rest of the Sadc members should and must take that attack as a declaration of war against its own. Of course, both Tanzania and Malawi are in the Sadc region. So, my understanding is that: whoever starts the war is at fault. Period.
Territorial claims can be funny. I know if near-war situation between Uganda and Kenya over Migingo Island. This piece of land in Lake Victoria is a tiny 2 000-square-metre (half-acre) island, about half the size of a football ground. There just under 150 residents on the Island, mostly fishermen and fish traders. These 150 or so people are served by four pubs, a number brothels and a pharmacy. There is no road. In summary, the potential fight is because of the Nile perch, a Tilapia-type fish that surrounds the island.