Friday, February 23, 2018

Magufuli meets Kenyatta to discuss trade row


By Deogratius Kamagi @Deogratiuskamagi

Dar es Salaam. President John Magufuli and his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta have instructed their ministers to work on the challenges that have sparked a trade war between the two neighbours.

The head of states issued the directive on Friday February 23 after they met for bilateral talks at Munyonyo Hotel in Kampala.

They are attending the East African Community (EAC) Heads of State summit in Uganda.

According to a statement from the Presidential Directorate of Communications, Dr Magufuli and Kenyatta said all they were both committed to having all the trade barriers between Kenya and Tanzania removed in the greater interest of their nations.

“There are some minor issues that emerge in between, and we need the ministers to urgently address them. These minor issues don’t have to reach our offices,” President Magufuli said.

“We have no problems at all…issues of shoes, clothes, wheat and gas don’t need our intervention; they are too minor,” he said in a statement that was supported by President Kenyatta.

Tanzanian ministers who are to execute the directive are Dr Augustine Mahiga (Foreign Affairs and East Africa Cooperation) and Prof Palamagamba Kabudi (Constitution and Legal Affairs).

From the Kenyan side, it’s the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Ms Monica Juma and the Cabinet Secretary for East African Community and Northern Corridor Development Peter Munya.

Meanwhile, Dr Magufuli has also met South Sudan President Salva Kiir for bilateral talks.

The head of state said Tanzania is concerned about the political unrest in South Sudan and extended a call for the fighting parties to settle their disputes.