The Tanzanian Government has come out to defend its decision to confiscate passports of Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter and other top Kenyan delegates.
Tanga Regional Commissioner Martin Shigela purpoted that Tanzania was not informed of the visit by the Kenyan delegation, who were on a trip to participate in joint talks between Uganda and Tanzania on the dispute over Uganda's oil pipeline.
CS Keter, his principal secretary Joseph Njoroge, Petroleum PS Andrew Kamau and Lapsset Chief Executive Officer Sylvester Kasuku were denied entry into Tanga Port, even as their Ugandan counterparts were freely granted access.
Following the incident that was deemed embarrassing, sources privy to the matter indicated that the Kenyan Government had protested, demanding an explanation from Tanzania.
A State House official who spoke to The Standard dismissed Tanzania's claim of not being aware, saying the neighboring country had been informed of the planned trip.
“As per the East Africa treaty, Tanzania has to make this explanation and it is not something that we have to request,” the source said.
Kenya’s High Commission in Tanzania Chirau Ali Mwakwere has reportedly been directed to take up the matter that could presumably dent diplomatic relations between the two governments.
During the Wednesday incident, the Kenyan officials were forced to stay for over one hour without their travel documents under unclear cirmcumstance.
“We are basically captives here. They have refused to give us back our passports for about one hour. They have also refused us entry into the port of Tanga,” PS Kamau said
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