The beef between Kenya and Tanzania is thickening. It is not clear why John Pombe Magufuli of Tanzania is so angry but only time will tell.
Few days after a plane carrying Kenyan officials to the funeral of former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa was turned mid-air, Magufuli has slapped Kenya Airways with a ban.
In a statement, Tanzania Civil Association Authority says the license of Kenya Airways to fly into Tanzania has been revoked after Kenya failed to list Tanzanians as part of citizens allowed to visit the country from August 1.
“The Authority regrets to inform you that in a reciprocal basis, the Tanzanian government has decided to nullify its approval of Kenya Airways (KQ) flights between Nairobi and Dar es Salaam/Zanzibar/Kilimajaro effective August 1, 2020,” said the Tanzanian authority.
Kenya opened her international airspace to international airlines starting on August 1, 2020. This was after President Uhuru Kenyatta lifted the cessation of movement by air in and out of the country apart from cargo plane.
During the week, the Ministry of Transport released a list of eleven countries allowed to fly into the country but Tanzania was missing.
Sources say Magufuli was furious when during his speech on July 27, 2020, President Uhuru Kenyatta seemed to “imply that John Pombe Magufuli was downplaying the impact of Covid-19 in his country.”
President Magufuli has since declared Tanzania a Covid-free nation saying that Tanzanians had prayed and that God had healed them of Covid-19.
The last time Tanzania updated her citizens on the status of Covid-19 in the country was in the month of April. Since then, Magufuli banned the Ministry of Health in the country from making any announcements.
The United States of America has already started evacuating its citizens through chartered planes saying the cases of Covid-19 in the country are not known and that people are at risk.