Tuesday July 28, 2020 – The Government of Kenya’s delegation to the State funeral of the late former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa never made it to Dar es Salaam for the function.

Reports from Tanzanian media outlets indicated that a plane ferrying the representatives was turned back at Monduli District in Arusha, about 700 kilometres away from Dar where the ceremony was taking place.

This is after President Uhuru Kenyatta indirectly criticized Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli over the way he is handling the Covid19 pandemic.

During his address to the nation yesterday, Uhuru criticised countries not reporting Covid-19 figures, a statement that was widely perceived as a veiled reference to Tanzania and its President John Pombe Magufuli.

However, Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary, Macharia Kamau, has denied that the plane had been sent back by authorities and instead blamed the early return on “a mechanical issue”.

“It’s complete nonsense.”

“Why would we put our people on a plane only for them to be sent back?”

“I think there was a mechanical issue with the plane but I’m not sure,” he stated.

Kamau further claimed that reports of a diplomatic tiff were being peddled by those hoping to see the two countries fight.

“People are spoiling for a fight where there is none.”

“There are no such tensions,” he maintained.

President Magufuli has declared Tanzania Coronavirus-free despite the dire situation in the country.

He has advocated for education, business and sports to continue as usual and recommended the use of herbal cures to protect against the disease.


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