Dar es Salaam. Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwerwa has arrived in Tanzania for a three-day state visit where he was received by his host President Magufuli at the Julius Nyerere International Airport.
Mr Chakwera led the opposition Tonse Alliance and defeated the then incumbent President Prof Peter Mutharika in a court sanctioned election re-run in June.
The re-run was necessary after Malawi’s constitutional court ruled in February 2020 that the May 2019 election, which gave Prof Mutharika a second term in office, was marred with vote rigging.
Since assuming power, Dr Chakwera - a former Pentecostal Church cleric – had been to Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique on one-day working visits before making his first three-day state visit to Tanzania.
“The visit seeks to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries,” reads a statement from the ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation.
President John Magufuli made a two-day state visit to Malawi, starting from April 24. On July 6, Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan took part in the inauguration of Dr Chakwera as the sixth President of the Republic of Malawi.
And today, Dr Chakwera is expected to be welcomed at the Julius Nyerere International Airport by his host, Dr John Magufuli.
While on the State Visit, the Malawian leader will have time to get first-hand information on how goods – including those destined for his country – were being handled at the Port of Dar es Salaam.
The visiting leader will also visit Malawi Cargo Centre which handles all vehicles and containers destined for Malawi has been a key cooperation symbol between the two countries.
In a sign of cooperation between Tanzania and Malawi on the handling of development projects, Dr Chakwera and his host, Dr Magufuli, will together lay a foundation stone for the ongoing construction of the ultra-modern Mbezi Mwisho Upcountry Bus Terminal in Dar es Salaam.
“The cooperation between Tanzania and Malawi has been cordial and strengthening each passing day. The two countries, which are both members of Southern African Development Community, have been cooperating in areas of politics, defence and security, economy and social aspects,” the statement reads.
Quoting data from Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation minister, Prof Palamagamba Kabudi, said Tanzania’s exports to Malawi have increased from Sh111 billion in 2015 to Sh130.758 billion in 2019.
On the other hand, Tanzania’s imports from Malawi rose from Sh27 billion in 2015 to Sh55.27 billion in 2019.
“The increase is a result of efforts by the two countries to improve their transport infrastructure, increase in industrial production as well as cutting on Non-Tariff Barriers,” he said.