Dodoma. Authorities have seized more than 10,000 head of cattle that had strayed into Tanzania from Uganda and Rwanda, a cabinet minister told Parliament yesterday.
Livestock and Fisheries Mr Luhaga Mpina minister said the cattle would be auctioned in a similar manner as the ones recently seized on the Tanzania-Kenya border.
The minister made the remarks in Parliament when contributing to discussion on the national development plan for 2018/19. Some MPs had asked the minister what would be done with the stray animals.
The government recently auctioned 1,325 head of cattle owned by Kenyans after the animals strayed into the country.
Mr Mpina accused Ugandan and Rwandan pastoralists of violating Tanzanian law by driving their animals to graze beyond their borders.
But the minister was quick to explain that relations between Tanzania and other East African Community (EAC) member states were stable.
His remarks come a week after the Kenyan government formally protested to Tanzania over what Nairobi terms “a policy shift that condones hostile actions against Kenyan citizens and their business interests”.
The neighbouring country’s Foreign Affairs Political and Diplomatic Secretary Tom Amolo criticised Tanzania’s decision to burn chicks imported from Kenya as well as auction animals from Kenyan herders without involving authorities in Nairobi.
He said such actions risked soiling historical relations between the two countries.
The Kenyan Maasai community also reportedly recently seized at least 4,000 head of cattle from Tanzania, ostensibly in retaliation.
Commissioner of Kajiado County in southern Kenya Harsama Kello said he was trying to stop the Maasai community in Kenya from confiscating cattle from Tanzania as an act of revenge.
Minister Mpina said the Tanzanian government wasn’t aware of the incident.