Kenya and Tanzania could put months of strained diplomatic ties to rest after a meeting between CS Amina Mohammed and Tanzanian President Suluhu Hassan.
According to reports, President Kenyatta sent Sports CS Amina Mohammed to Tanzania to meet Samia Suluhu Hassan. Amina Mohammed was to assure Suluhu of Kenya’s commitment to mending broken ties, made worse during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Harmony between both countries
President Suluhu, during the meeting, stated that her administration was ready and willing to collaborate with Kenya to promote mutual interests and strengthen trade ties.
“President Suluhu is committed to continuing what the late President John Magufuli started – ensuring that both countries relate in harmony,” Tanzania’s Chief Spokesperson, Gerson Msigwa, said in a statement.
The Tanzanian President also directed her Ministers to form a Joint Permanent Commission from both Kenya and Tanzania. The commission would meet and agree on different issues, ensuring the strengthening of ties between both countries.
Additionally, President Kenyatta also sent out an invitation to Suluhu Hassan to visit Kenya for the first time. Kenyatta sent the invite through a letter. He assured her that Kenya was ready for bilateral talks that would strengthen the relationship between both countries.
Strains during COVID-19
Kenya and Tanzania have had a complicated relationship, which raised its ugly head once more over the past year. After the confirmation of COVID cases in Tanzania, Kenya closed its borders with the country.
Furthermore, Kenya also refused to let in truckers from Tanzania without a COVID-19 negative certificate. This move came as then Tanzania’s President, Magufuli, denied the existence of COVID in the country; hence, no need to test.
In response, Magufuli asked Tanzanian traders to hike commodity prices to their Kenyan counterparts. He also mocked Kenya’s move to go into lockdown.
However, President Suluhu appears eager to mend the strained ties between the countries, and her meeting with Amina Mohammed confirms that.
— Msemaji Mkuu wa Serikali (@TZMsemajiMkuu) April 10, 2021