Tanzania Rejects Kenya's Effort to End Stalemate

Tanzania's President John Pombe Magufuli (left) and Kenya's Uhuru Kenyatta (right)

Update: Kenya finally added Tanzanian citizens to the list of foreign nationals exempted from the mandatory 14-day COVID-19 quarantine upon arrival in Kenya.

Following the Tuesday, September 15, announcement, Tanzania joined 146 other nations whose citizens will now be allowed to travel to Kenya without having to undergo mandatory quarantine, a preventative measure against a resurgence of imported Covid-19 cases.

Tanzania responded by lifting the ban on Kenyan planes. 

Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) Director General Gilbert Kibe has disclosed that Tanzania rejected Kenya's efforts to end the row between the two countries.

Tanzania and Kenya are at a standoff after President John Magufuli's administration banned Kenyan airlines from flying into the neighbouring country. 

This was in retaliation to Kenya's decision to exclude Tanzanians from the list of nationals exempted from mandatory Covid-19 quarantine. 

On Monday, September 14, KCAA's Kibe stated that efforts to discuss the stalemate backfired after Tanzanian authorities pulled out of the negotiations. 

File image of a Kenya Airways plane
A photo of a Kenya Airways plane.
Photo/Kenya Airways

Their refusal to end the row was occasioned by Kenya's stand to reject free movement of persons from Tanzania after the country was flagged as a high-risk nation. 

"Tanzania wants Kenya to relax the Covid-19 restrictions before they allow the resumption of flights. 

"However, we are still engaged in negotiation with the authorities there on the way forward and we are hopeful a solution will be found soon," Kibe stated. 

On Thursday, August 27, Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary (PS) Ambassador Macharia Kamau argued that Kenya and Tanzania enjoyed a good relationship despite the row

The disquiet between Kenya and her East African neighbours continued to grow after Tanzania beat Kenya into signing a pipeline deal with Uganda's Yoweri Museveni. 

Uganda had initially planned to transport its oil through Kenya which hoped to land the deal and use it as a development platform. 

Tanzania is expected to earn Ksh349 billion from the pipeline that is expected to create at least 18,000 jobs over the next 30 years.

“It has nothing to do with us. They were always going to build a pipeline,” Petroleum Principal Secretary Andrew Kamau says. 

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni (right) greets Tanzanian officials in Chato, Tanzania alongside his host President John Magufuli (left) on Monday, September 14, 2020