All books I read while in Primary school indicated that some man from Europe at some point in their life decided to go out of their comfort zone and discover something new. The discovery turned out to be a large piece of land with millions of inhabitants. I have always struggled with the notion that a whole acreage of land would be discovered by a single person.
It still puzzles me when several people seem to have discovered different features on our lands. One came and discovered Shire River; another discovered this mountain and that valley. That’s how naïve imperialism sounds. We discovered these features ourselves and their coming did not change anything in as far as our country is concerned.
Wait a minute, I am wrong here.
Their discovery culminated into high level meetings in European capital cities where they discussed how best they would share the lands they had discovered.
The modalities really foolish and illogical. The tiny Belgium got Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo), a country 13 times her size; the same as Malawi colonizing Mainland China.
Britain got (or discovered) a large territory in Africa, Asia and South America. Thereafter, they are happy to call us the Commonwealth. Ask Mugabe, he doesn’t give a damn about the association. “They can go to hell,” he keeps on saying.
They have even organized Commonwealth Games for all colonized nations to prove to the oppressor that they can be sporty enough for useless medals.
When the Germans and the British traded parts of our country in 1890, our forefathers did not know that our waters were beyond swimming and fishing.
Similarly, when former Tanzania President Mwalimu Julius Nyerere mentioned about Lake Malawi, Kamuzu roared momentarily and the issue settled.
Our fishing in those waters have not been a big deal up until somebody came and knocked on our minds; “Hello, there is oil in your waters”. The alert came to Malawi first before Tanzania got wind of it.
The 1890 agreement gave us powers to run the lake the way we want. No wonder we called it Lake Nyasa, later on Lake Malawi. Tanzania wants to have a share in Lake Malawi. Doesn’t this sound like Palestinians trying to have a share of Israel’s capital, Jerusalem?
For the past two weeks the issue was still a joke to me up until Tanzania’s cabinet ministers started talking of an impending war if Malawi goes on with the oil exploration.
The fish wasn’t a problem but oil is; that seems to be the storyline. May be it is true that oil is a curse to Africa (Ask people of the Niger Delta)
Whether we continue exploring oil or not, Tanzanians need to understand one thing and they have to do so clearly.
We are a nation of lions. We were led by a Lion for 30 years and that made us strong minded. We come from a fighting background during the Kingdoms. Our land is a convergence zone and all those who settled here did so after fighting their way in (Except for the Chinese)
We have the Warships and the Submarines ready to take charge and protect our waters. We are at liberty to choose what we are going to do with our waters even if it means draining the whole lake for fun.
If Tanzania doubts my stand then let them come and check our personnel.
At the helm is one man who is Malawi’s Man of the Year for 2012. He is the man who saw a smooth transition of power from one government to another. At a time when we thought Peter Mutharika was going to illegally squeeze through to State House, Army Commander Henry Odillo dusted his copy of the constitution and saw things the way they ought to be.
My heart rested when I watched Odillo on TV sitting next to President Banda on the morning before her swearing in. (I will not salute Peter Mukhito though he was also there. He looked forced and unstable)
Henry Odillo displayed courage to see Malawi where it is today and he will surely extend that courage to protect our citizens, our land, our waters, our fish and our oil.
Let Tanzania get this message loud and clear. If this is still unclear, then I propose they send me a Swahili teacher so that I can blog likewise.