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Friday, May 7, 2021 – The just concluded bilateral talks between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Tanzanian counterpart, Samia Suluhu, seem not to have helped ease tension between Kenya and Tanzania.

This is after it emerged that Tanzania is still not allowing cross border business at Kenya-Tanzania border points of Isebania and Namanga, with six Kenyan fishermen being arrested by Tanzanian police on Wednesday evening.

After President Samia Suluhu and her host, Uhuru Kenyatta, announced the lifting of trade barriers, truck drivers in Isebania are still not being allowed to move freely into Tanzania.

And in Namanga, no maize imports are allowed yet President Kenyatta ordered the clearance of trucks loaded with the grain.

Customs officials said they are waiting for communication from the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) to lift the ban on maize imports. 

The authority on March 5 banned the importation of maize from Tanzania and Uganda, arguing that the grains have high aflatoxin levels. 

Namanga customs boss Joseph Muywaywa said no truck loaded with maize has been cleared. 

In Isebania, drivers and businesspeople said crossing the border has become an uphill task, with many being made to wait at the parking bays as goods are loaded.

Just after Suluhu and Uhuru announced measures to improve trade, Tanzanian authorities arrested six Kenyan fishermen and impounded two boats at Kibro Beach in Muhuru Bay.

The fishermen were taken to Sota beach in the Northern Mara district.

Kibro Beach Management Unit chairman Maulid Joel said the Tanzanians are demanding Sh50,000 to release each vessel.

He expressed disappointment as the arrests took place when President Suluhu was in Kenya.


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