PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu, Malawi’s Peter Mutharika and Mozambique’s Filipe Nyuse have resolved to hastily open up the Nacala corridor to boost trade among the three countries through the port of Nacala.
And President Mutharika says his country was ready to import 1.2 million metric tonnes of maize grain within the SADC region.
In a close-door meeting yesterday which lasted about five hours at Kamuzi Place (State House) in Malawi, the three leaders also discussed “political” atmospheres in their countries.
President Lungu said shortly after the closed-door meeting that their deliberations were aimed at sharing ideas on how the cost of doing business could be reduced in the SADC region.
“We are looking at how best business can grow in the SADC region,” President Lungu said.
And addressing the press later, President Mutharika said he invited President Lungu and the Mozambican head of State to discuss matters which affected their countries.
He said the three leaders agreed on how they could manage the refugees which were currently in their countries.
Prof Mutharika said they agreed that the refugees should voluntarily go back to their countries and that if they did not they should produce proper documents so that they could be issued with residence and work permits in countries of their choice.
Prof Mutharika said Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique had a lot in common such as tribes. Just like in Zambia and Mozambique, Malawi also had Chewas, Ngonis and Tumbukas.
“We always talk on the phone with my brothers but today I thought that we should see each other and discuss various issues which our countries are facing,” President Mutharika said.
And President Nyuse said he had agreed with his counterparts to ensure that all the Mozambican refugees in Zambia and Malawi returned to their country voluntarily.
He said the refugees who wished to live in Malawi should go back and get permits in Mozambique for them to freely stay and live in Malawi.
The Mozambican leader pledged to ensure that he facilitated the opening of the Nacala corridor to reduce the cost of doing business for Zambia and Malawi.
He said once opened the Nacala corridor would greatly reduce on the transport and the cost of goods being imported into Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique.
And commenting on the shortage of maize in Malawi, President Mutharika said his country was ready to import 1.2 million metric tonnes of maize grain within the SADC region.
He told journalists at Kamuzi Place that about 3 million people have been affected by the shortage of maize grain which stood at 20 percent.
“We need to import maize from neighbouring countries and we are looking at importing from within the region,” he said.