Political analysts in Malawi have said President Joyce Banda has a chance to use his influence as Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) chairperson to solve the lake wrangle with neighbouring Tanzania.
Malawi and Tanzania have been at loggerheads on the past 18 months on the issue of Lake Malawi.
Tanzania is demanding half the lake while Malawi has insisted that the whole lake belongs to the country.
Chancellor College political analyst Dr Blessings Chinsinga has said President Banda’s ascendance to the SADC chairmanship is an opportunity for her to make sure the wrangle is solved amicably.
Apart from the lake wrangle issue President Banda has also been urged to use his influence to solve various problems that women are facing in the region.
President Banda has become the first female president to ascend to the chairmanship position.
Banda took over the leadership of SADC from Mozambique President Armando Guebuza at the current 33rd SADC heads of nation summit at Bingu Conference on Saturday with a speech in which she stressed the need to improve agriculture production in the region to improve people’s lives.
In his acceptance speech Banda thanked the SADC members for entrusting her with the leadership of the block.
She promised to spearhead the agenda of peace political stability, food security economic stability and democracy in the region.
“Millions of our women and men struggle to survive in conditions of poverty, deprivation, and underdevelopment. They are hungry for food, through no fault of their own. They die from preventable diseases, through fault of their own.
“They are raped in their own homes and communities. They suffer violence at home, at school and their communities, through no fault of their own. Many of them have lost their dignity, through no fault of their own,” she said.
“These are SADC citizens who pay taxes. These are SADC citizens who vote. These are our citizens and our neighbours. They work for us and we work for them. And yet when they hear our voices and observe our action suggest that the poor should care for the poor.”
Banda also applauded the outgoing chairman and promised to continue from where he stopped.
She thanked Guebuza for his wise leadership during his one tear tenure of office.