Why Kenya's spat with Tanzania is about more than chickens and cattle

Magufuli had on Monday issued a rather rude message to Uhuru regarding the auctioning of Kenyan cattle.

Tanzanian president John Magufuli has been the subject of discussion in Kenya following his decision to auction over 1,300 Kenyan cattle for about Sh93 million.

Tanzanian authorities said they feared the cattle would spread dangerous diseases. The move has sparked a row between the two countries with Magufuli issuing a terse statement warning Kenya that his country was not a grazing field for Kenyan animals.

A few days earlier, the country burnt to death 6,400 one-day-old chicks from Kenya, on suspicion they could spread bird flu.

The two incidences have yet again revived the diplomatic row that the two countries have had for the past few months. Rivalry between the two neighbours has been there since the 1967 Arusha Declaration in which Tanzania adopted socialism, putting it on a collision path with Kenya’s capitalist ideals.

Tanzania has been Kenya’s second largest export market after Uganda, underlining its importance as a trading partner. And while they seek to put an end to the trade barriers, Business Insider SSA looks at a timeline of the events that have since threatened relations between the two nations:

April 25,2017

Kenya’s Ministry of Energy and Petroleum announces that it would ban importation of cooking gas through the Kenya-Tanzania border in a move sought to curb the rising illicit trade. Tanzania later pointed a finger at 'monopolistic' Kenyans for being behind the ban.

July 23,2017

The Republic of Kenya and the United Republic of Tanzania lift restrictions that affected products and services exchange between the two countries. This allowed wheat flour and cooking gas imports from Tanzania which in turn allowed milk and cigarettes from Kenya.

August 22,2017

Tanzania imposes tariffs that would make it hard for Kenyan milk to access the country's market. The tariff was blamed for the significant drop in Kenya’s dairy exports to Tanzania, which dropped from Kshs2.1 billion ($20.8 million) in 2015 to Kshs185 million ($1.8) million last year.

Sept 26,2017

Tanzania retains business permit fees for Kenyan firms despite nearly one year of grueling negotiations; a move that was seen to symbolise the country’s lack of enthusiasm for the 18- year-old trade pact among East African Community member states.

Oct 31,2017

Reports indicate that Tanzania has auctioned more than 1,300 cows near Arusha for about Sh93 million. Tanzania’s Minister for Livestock and Fisheries Luhaga Mpina said they feared the cattle would spread dangerous diseases.

Nov 1,2017

Tanzania police burn to death 6,400 one-day-old chicks from Kenya, on suspicion they could spread bird flu. According to Tanzania’s regional livestock boss, Obedi Nyasembwa, the chicks, worth about Sh554,000 (Tsh12 million), were smuggled from Kenya and posed a health risk. The incident was highly condemned by officials from the Kenya Veterinary Association.


Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: news@pulselive.co.ke