Kenya ni marafiki zetu, corona isiwe chanzo cha migogoro,’ Magufuli now says


Kenya ni marafiki zetu, corona isiwe chanzo cha migogoro,' Magufuli now says
President Uhuru Kenyatta meets President Magufuli duringKenyatta's two-day private visit to Tanzania. PHOTO| PSCU

Tanzania’s President John Magufuli has said President Uhuru Kenyatta called him recently with the aim of putting to bed, an escalating border impasse between Kenya and Tanzania.

Speaking in Singida, President Magufuli noted that it was important for Kenya and Tanzania to resolve the issue at hand as it is mutually beneficial to the two countries.

“There are Luos in Kenya and Tanzania, Maasai’s in the two countries, there are Kuria’s in Kenyan and Tanzania, Corona should not be the breakdown of the friendship we enjoy with our Kenyan friends,” He said.

While maintaining that Tanzania will not go into a lockdown, Magufuli said he has directed the country’s Transport Minister and Regional Commissioners to meet with their Kenyan counterparts to resolve the stand-off.

“We agreed that our Transport Ministers and Regional Commissioners will meet at the border and agree on how to work together because both countries need to do business,” he added.

The latest comes just days after Kenya closed her borders with Tanzania and Somalia in a move aimed at curbing the spread of the virus through porous borders.

Following the directive scores of Tanzanian truck drivers were denied entry into Kenya at the Namanga border after testing positive for the new coronavirus.

And in what appeared to an escalation of the border wrangles, on Wednesday, Arusha Regional Commissioner Mrisho Gambo claimed in a statement that Kenya had misdiagnosed Tanzanian truck drivers for coronavirus.

The statement sent out to Tanzanian media houses claimed that 19 truck drivers who tested positive at the Namanga border had later tested negative at a Tanzania’s national lab in Dar Es Salaam.

The statement alleged that there is a ploy by Kenya to kill tourism and business in Arusha and Tanzania by declaring falsified coronavirus results.

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Story By Tonny Ndungu
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