Foreign Affairs PS Speaks on Tanzania's Retaliation to Kenya

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    Tanzania's President John Pombe Magufuli (left) and Kenya's Uhuru Kenyatta (right)
    File
  • Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary (PS) Ambassador Macharia Kamau has responded to Tanzania's decision to ban three more Kenyan airlines, nearly a month after the neighbouring country banned the Kenya Airways.

    Kamau, while speaking with Kenyans.co.ke on Thursday, August 27, played cagey with the matter and refuted claims that the decision by Tanzania was based on a diplomatic row with Kenya. 

    Tanzania banned the planes in retaliation to Kenya's decision to excluded her nationals among travellers exempted from mandatory Covid-19 quarantine. Tanzania was red-flagged as a high-risk country.

    Passengers arriving from the neighbouring country will continue to be subjected to a two-week quarantine to curb the spread of Covid-19.

    "The matter is under consideration. I do not know if we have any diplomatic issues with Tanzania. I do not know of any," Macharia stated.

    Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau on April 14, 2020.
    Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau on April 14, 2020.
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    On Wednesday night, August 26, Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) Director-General Hamza Johari affirmed that cold blood existed between the two nations. 

    This contradicts PS Macharia's statement, as Kenya opts for tactical silence while working towards fostering peace and unity in the region.

    “The basis of the decision to nullify our approval for the three Kenyan airlines is the ongoing dispute between the two countries,” Hamza stated while speaking with the Business Daily. 

    Officials at the Ministry of Transport, Kenya, declined to speak on how they will mitigate the situation which is seemingly getting out of hand. They directed calls to Transport CS James Macharia who did not respond. However, an official stated that the CS was considering the matter and declined to divulge more information.

    On Saturday, August 1, Macharia issued a statement after Kenya Airways was banned from flying into Tanzania. The CS announced that his Tanzanian counterpart had agreed to reverse the ban. The move backfired as Tanzania never heeded to the alleged promise. 

    President Uhuru Kenyatta has, however, not shied away from poking holes at his Tanzanian counterpart John Pombe Magufuli over the Covid-19 situation in the two neighbouring countries.

    While addressing the nation on Monday, July 27, Kenyatta indicated that Kenya was better than countries that failed to announce their Covid-19 tally and gagged the media from reporting on the pandemic. 

    Tanzania stopped announcing daily cases after Magufuli announced the country was Covid-19 free.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) and Tanzania President Pombe Magufuli (right) enjoy a light moment after the former visited the later in Tanzania in July 2019
    President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) and Tanzania President Pombe Magufuli (right) enjoy a light moment after the former visited the later in Tanzania in July 2019
    PSCU