Tanzania has banned Kenyan trucks from stepping on their soil as diplomatic ties between the two East African states continue to disintegrate due to the covid-19 menace.
In an authoritative address on Sunday morning, Tanzania’s Minister for Health Ummy Mwalimu said that Kenyan trucks will be turned away at the border points calling on the affected businessmen to find another alternative way of transporting their goods from the borer to their destination.
“Gari ya nchi nyingine yoyote isiingie ili tusiendelee kuharibiana biashara au kueka mazingira ya kibiashara katika afya ambayo hayahusiani na kuleta utata mkubwa. Bidhaa zinazotoka nchi nyingine haswa jirani zetu wakenya zitakuja kufaulishwa hapa hapa mpakani,” she said.
Mwalimu also made it known that no Tanzania truck driver will cross the border out of their country asking the owners of the goods in neighbouring countries to organize how they will pick the goods from the borders once their drivers drop them there.
“Kwa hiyo, mzigo wa mtanzania unatoka Tanzania unakwenda nchi nyingine uletwe mpaka hapa, uletwe mpaka hapa mpakani, utachukuliwa mpakani, malipo yatafanyikia mpakani, tunamaliza biashara hapa. Unarudi nyumbani.”
According to the Health Minister, the move is meant to avoid being used as scapegoats in the rising cases of covid-19 cases in Kenya.
“Sasa tunasema hivi, ili tusiambukizane. Bidhaa zote zinazotoka Tanzania kwenda nchi nyingine, wenye bidhaa hizo waje wazichukulie mpakani. Bidhaa za nchi nyingine lakini zimepitia Kenya zikaja hapa, wanaohusika watawasiliaana na wateja wao watajua namna ya kufanya.”
Tanzania’s fightback comes just hours after President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered the closure of borders with Tanzania and Somalia while also insisting that all truck drivers will be subject to coronavirus testing at border points and only those that test positive will be allowed into the country.