Kenya and Tanzania on Tuesday agreed to eliminate barriers hindering the smooth flow of trade and people between the two East African nations.
The decision was arrived at yesterday at State House, Nairobi during bilateral talks led by President Uhuru Kenyatta and visiting Tanzania Head of State Samia Suluhu Hassan.
A joint team of experts will be set up to address the disjointed enforcement of cross-border Covid-19 containment protocols, one of the most pronounced non-tariff trade barrier between the two nations.
“Just as His Excellency the President has said, we have agreed that our Health Ministers need to sit down and come up with a structured system of testing our people at the border points to allow easy movement of our people so as to do their businesses,” President Samia Suluhu told the media at State House, Nairobi.
The two leaders noted that Kenya and Tanzania need to develop modalities for mutual recognition of COVID-19 test results, noting that the lack of harmonized protocols has hampered free flow of goods and people.
“First, we noted that trade between Kenya and Tanzania is facing some administrative challenges. They include non-tariff barriers and other restrictions which are frustrating trade and investment between our two countries,” President Kenyatta said.
The Kenyan Head of State congratulated President Suluhu for assuming the leadership of her country’s ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) and assured her of Kenya’s unwavering support.
He said Kenya and Tanzania were not only geographically conjoined but have a common culture, common language, shared heritage and a common ancestry.
“Your visit has given us the opportunity to renew our relations and we want to assure you that the Republic of Kenya and my Government will be in the forefront working together with you and your Administration to ensure our unity especially as East African nations and neighbours, will continue to grow and be strengthened for the benefit of our people,” President Kenyatta said.
He said Kenya and Tanzania had agreed to rejig their Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) to enable it deal with issues affecting trade, adding that the two countries had agreements on importation of natural gas from Tanzania to Kenya, and another on cultural exchanges.
“We have agreed to re-energize the Joint Commission for Cooperation between our two countries, and we have directed our Ministers to meet regularly to ensure that they continue strengthening our relations by sorting out minor problems affecting our people as they do business and interact with each other.
“They (JCC) need to ensure that investors coming from either Tanzania or Kenya do not face hurdles by ensuring a structured system is put in place to help us build our countries for the mutual benefit of our people,” President Kenyatta said.
President Kenyatta also spoke about shared infrastructure saying Kenya and Tanzania had agreed to improve their connectivity through new roads, aviation and maritime transport so as to hasten economic growth.
“We will strengthen aviation, railway, sea and lake transport as well as roads. We also discussed the need to hasten the construction of the Malindi-Lungalunga-Bagamoyo Road to ease movement of goods and people,” he said.
On the signed agreement on natural gas imports from Tanzania, President Kenyatta said the resource will help Kenya meet its growing energy demand.
“We also agreed to build a gas pipeline from Dar es Salaam to Mombasa that will lower energy costs in Kenya and help our industries to access environmentally friendly energy,” he said.
President Samia Suluhu Hassan is on a two-day State Visit to Kenya, and is on Wednesday scheduled to address a joint sitting of Kenya’s bicameral parliament.
Machokos Governor Alfred Mutua & Wife Lillian Nganga Announce Separation
Machakos Governor Dr. Alfred Mutua and his wife Lillian Nganga have separated. The two love birds issued statements on Sunday, announcing that they agreed to part ways amicably about two months ago.
With the separation Ms Nganga ceases being the Machakos County First Lady.In his separation note, Mutua said that despite going their separate ways, they will remain to be friends.
“There is a song by Roger Whittaker that has the line: “the first time we said hello, we started to say goodbye.”
Lillian and I have been a blessing to each other. Two months ago, we decided to slowly disengage. We are in amicable terms and remain very close as friends. We will continue to talk, meet and share ideas constantly.
Lillian has been an excellent First Lady and even though she will do some projects under the Lillian Nganga foundation, we have agreed she can continue with her county projects.
She will be a close advisor as I Govern Machakos County and run for President because I trust her sharp insight and heart. She has always been my number one fan. Our love for each other is permanent but I think at times, space and new directions are important.
I thank God for bringing Lillian into my life and the many ways we have made each other grow. We have had a laugh and at times a tear but all in all we have been a power couple and very happy. We celebrate life and are pleased that we have reached this decision in a mature, agreeable manner.I am a happy and blessed man and we have agreed we will protect and support each other”.
On the other hand, the Machakos First Lady Lilian Nganga said steps down announcing break up with Governor Alfred Mutua.
Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi removed as Kilifi County ODM Chairman
Kilifi governor mason Kingi has been replaced as the Kilifi County chairman of the Orange Democratic Movement party.
Teddy Mwambire, Ganze member of Parliament has taken over the Chairmanship.
Kingi is accused of being disloyal and having aligned himself with a new political party. He has been spearheading formation of a Jumuia coastal political party as a way to increase the stakes for Coastal region in the 2022 politics.
This has seen him clash with a section of ODM leaders from the region, who have been calling for his removal from the chairmanship position.
Kingi’s replacement comes days after the Kilifi ODM youth league chairman Samir Nyundo resigned from the Orange party.
The Kilifi Governor was conspicuously absent during ODM party leader Raila Odinga’s recent tour of Kilifi County.
Deputy President William Ruto blocked from traveling to Uganda
Deputy President William Ruto was on Monday blocked from travelling to Uganda.
The DP’s office says Ruto was scheduled to make a private visit to Uganda but was told to first seek clearance from the Head of public Service.
Three members of parliament who accompanied the DP were also blocked temporarily before being allowed to travel.
The deputy president is said to have arrived at airport, all set for what would have been his second trip to Uganda in less than a month, but he could not be cleared for take off, his spokesman David Mugonyi saying in a brief statement.
“He was told that he had to first seek clearance from the head of public service, when he called Joseph Kinyua, he said he wasn’t aware of such a directive,”’
Ruto is said to have been kept waiting at the Wilson airport from 2pm to 5;15 pm when his journey aborted.
But sources in government who did not want to be named owing to the political sensitives of the matter pointed to the travel protocols the require public officials such as the deputy president to be cleared before leaving the country.
Under the national security council procedure on travel by top public servants, the Deputy President’s foreign trips must be cleared by the president.
CS’s and PS’s are however cleared by Head of Public Service.
Ruto was to travel with three MPs allied to him Kiharu’s Ndindi Nyoro, Kapseret’s Oscar Sudi and Kinango MP Nenjamin Tayari.
The three lawmakers were also reportedly kept waiting at Wilson Airport for more than three hours and later cleared leaving the DP behind.
“Sisi tuko hapa Kampala tumefika tulikuwa tukuje na DP kutembelea Yoweri Museveni, tulifika airport saa saba tukingojea DP alipofika alianza kuambiwa kuana orders from above hawezi ruhusiwa kutoka nje ya nchi,” Ndindi Nyoro said
It was not immediately clear what was on the DP’s agenda in Uganda…but his last trip in early July raised political eyebrows in the region with a section of newspapers reporting that he had sought the intervention of president Yoweri Museveni in mending fences with President Kenyatta.
He is also said to have discussed business opportunities in the neighbouring country.
A report in the Sunday Nation even suggested that Museveni had expressed concern over what he saw as the DP’s confrontational approach in dealing with President Kenyatta, which he feared could cost him politically.
The DP has since put out a social media post which seems to refer to the latest incident.
At 6.46 pm on Monday, he wrote on Twitter handle ‘isorait…tuwachie mungu’.
One more sign of the strained relations between the DP and sections of the same government he is still constitutionally part of