The latest utterances from Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli has re-ignited a fresh border and diplomatic row between Tanzania and Kenya.
Reacting to a controversial decision by a Tanzanian court to auction 1,300 cows belonging to Maasai from Kenya, Magufuli said that the law was followed in arresting and auctioning the cows belonging to Kenyans, adding that Tanzania is not a grazing land for Kenyans.
“Let them (Kenyans) also take similar action if cows from Tanzania are arrested in their country,” he said in a statement from State House.
The move by Tanzania has angered Maa leaders led by Kajiado Governor Joseph ole Lenku, who accused Magufuli of creating enmity between Kenyans and Tanzanians.
“This man (President Magufuli) is a disgrace to East Africans. He continues to sabotage good neighbourliness with his government officers harassing Kenyans over flimsy grounds,” said Lenku.
“I have lobbied for diplomacy to apply when issues arise in mutual respect of East Africa citizens. However, Maasai Morans are being driven to defend themselves. We can’t tolerate this anymore.”
“If he can’t appreciate the neighbourliness we have enjoyed, then we can cut short our ties. He has made citizens from both counties to suffer his actions. He must not provoke us further,” said the Governor.
Last week, Tanzanian Livestock ministry burned 6,400 chicks imported from Kenya in what it termed as a bid to prevent the spread of bird flu.
Following the two actions, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed has written a protest note to her Tanzanian Foreign Affairs counterpart Dr. Augustine Mahiga.
Amina however said talks between Kenya and Tanzania are ongoing to establish a lasting solution to the border dispute.
“We are in conversation. I wish what happened did not but what we need to do now is to make sure our conversation can end up stopping anything like that from happening in future and give us a more sustainable way of dealing with issues as they arise," Amina said.