Kenya sends Raila to negotiate with Magufuli

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With recent developments Tanzania banning Kenya Airways from landing in Tanzania, Kenya has now bowed. Kenya has now send Raila to lead a negotiation with President Magufuli who is his long buddy for talks over the two country’s friendship.

The Tanzanian Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) said Kenya Airways flights were being banned “on a reciprocal basis” after the Kenyan government decided against including Tanzania in a list of countries whose passengers would be allowed to enter Kenya when commercial flights resumed on Saturday following the lifting of coronavirus restrictions.

“Tanzania has noted … its exclusion in the list of countries whose people will be allowed to travel into Kenya,” TCCA Director General Hamza Johari said in a letter sent to Kenya Airways on Friday.

The spat between Kenya and Tanzania erupted soon after the outbreak of the pandemic in East Africa, when Kenya blocked Tanzanian truck drivers from entering the country, fearing they would spread the disease.

Tanzania has taken a controversially relaxed approach to tackling the coronavirus pandemic and began reopening the country two months ago.

President John Magufuli’s refusal to impose lockdowns or physical distancing measures, and to halt the release of figures on infections since late April, has made him a regional outlier and caused concern among Tanzania’s neighbours and the World Health Organization.

Magufuli declared Tanzania free of coronavirus in June, thanking God and the prayers of citizens for what he said was the defeat of COVID-19.

Separately on Saturday, Kenya Airways resumed international commercial travel after grounding flights for more than four months due to the pandemic.

A ceremony took place at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in the capital, Nairobi, with inaugural flights to the United Kingdom and Ethiopia.

Kenya has so far registered 20,636 confirmed coronavirus cases and 341 related deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

“The Tanzanian government has decided to nullify its approval for Kenya Airways (KQ) flights between Nairobi and Dar/Kilimanjaro/Zanzibar effective August 1, 2020 until further notice,” Johari wrote.

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