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Munya issues tough warning days after Uhuru-Magufuli meeting

Recently Presidents Magufuli and Uhuru held a short meeting in Uganda over dwindling Kenya-Tanzania relations.

Speaking over the weekend in Mombasa during the opening of the retreat of the Senate Committee on National Cohesion, Equal Opportunity and Regional Integration, the former Meru Governor told off politicians who have been using the disputes along the Kenyan borders and her neighbours for political gain, adding that such a move would jeopardize any bilateral engagements.

Mr Munya warned politicians against inciting residents over boundary issues, at a time Kenya and Tanzania’s relationship has been dwindling following various outrageous conducts of the Tanzanian Government.

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“Politicians use boundaries as a campaign tool to get to power. Part of the problem is that citizens are not aware of where the boundaries are. Boundaries are gazetted in line with the Constitution,” the former Chairman of the Council of Governors said.

Uhuru-Magufuli meeting

Towards the end of last month, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Tanzania counterpart John Magufuli ordered an urgent meeting of their EAC ministers to resolve long running trade disputes between the two States.

Traders from both countries earlier raised issues with growing administrative barriers that have cropped up to slow trade between Kenya and Tanzania which have been trying to integrate their economies in the last 18 years.

“We have small issues relating to businesses and traders between Kenya and Tanzania. We want Kenya and Tanzania ministers to meet urgently and resolve these issues,” said Dr Magufuli at the sidelines of a summit of the East African Community (EAC) in Kampala, Uganda.

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He termed the disputes “small matters”, saying they should be resolved quickly.

EAC Secretary Peter Munya and Foreign Affairs Secretary Monica Juma have been asked to agree on a day when they will meet their Tanzanian counterparts to resolve the disputes.

Kenyan milk products were greatly affected by the trade wars that saw the value of export to Tanzania drop by 79 per cent between 2014 and 2016.

In July last year, Kenyan millers strongly opposed the government’s move to allow Tanzanian firms to bring in wheat flour duty-free, fearing they will be priced out of the market.

Meanwhile, Mr Munya and his Tanzanian counterpart have not yet had a meeting to this effect.

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