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Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan arrives in Kenya

By Bosco Marita
Tuesday, May 4th, 2021
President Samia Suluhu arrives in Kenya for a two-day visit. Photo: Gerson Msigwa.
In summary

Tanzania's President Samia Suluhu Hassan has arrived in Kenya..

She was received at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) by Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Rachael Omamo, Sports CS Amina Mohamed and Ambassador Dan Kazungu

The Tanzanian President will inspect a guard of honour and receive a 21 gun salute at State House Nairobi, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed in a statement on Monday.

President Samia is on a two-day state visit in Kenya where she is set to hold bilateral talks with her host counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta.

She is expected to address a joint Parliamentary sitting later on Wednesday at the National Assembly Chambers, main parliament buildings in Nairobi.

The two speakers of the Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka and his National Assembly counterpart Justin Muturi gazetted the joint sitting on Monday.

President Samia will also attend a trade forum for Tanzania and Kenya business community that will be exploring available business and investment opportunities in the two countries.

“The State visit comes at a time when Kenya and Tanzania are working closely to deepen ties in the area of trade and people-to-people relations including the private sector, arts, culture, wildlife matters, tourism and cooperation at the continental and Multilateral levels,” read the statement by Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

She is also to attend a session with executive women in business.

Kenya and Tanzania experienced a frosty relationship during the era of the late President John Pombe Magufuli that saw trade tariffs imposed on each other.

The conflict was occasioned by measures imposed by the Kenyan government to arrest the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and also economic competition.

Tanzania announced then that it was Covid-19 free but Kenya on the other hand believed otherwise.

Truck drivers from Tanzania were required to produce a Covid-19 free certificate before accessing Kenya. The move was not welcomed by Tanzanian authorities who felt that their people were being unfairly targeted.

Kenya's announcement that Tanzania's nationals arriving in Kenya must undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine was retaliated with a ban on Kenya Airways from landing the neighbouring country's airspace.

Mandatory Covid-19 certificate for truck drivers also became a bone of contention as businessmen from the two countries complained of mistreatment by authorities.

The visit is expected to streamline the relationship between the two nations as they chart the way forward.