Tanzania has closed its borders for all trucks transporting goods into the country, hours after Kenya closed its border following increasing cases of Covid-19 from the country.
Tanzania Minister for Health Ummy Mwalimu said that only goods belonging to Tanzanians will be allowed in, though they will be loaded into another truck on the Tanzanian side at the border.
“All trucks with goods owned by a Tanzanian, and need to enter Tanzania, or they belong to someone else but the order was made by a Tanzanian, find another truck to take the goods to the final destination. Vehicles from any other countries will not be allowed,” said the Minister.
On Saturday, President Uhuru Kenyatta closed Kenya’s border with Somalia and Tanzania, with an exception for cargo trucks. However, Tanzania’s move means that trucks ferrying goods from Tanzania will be allowed into the Kenyan territory, but they cannot leave until the order is reversed.
President Kenyatta revealed that 43 of the cases detected in the previous week had crossed borders from neighbouring nations.
“As of yesterday [Friday], the cases across the border were distributed as follows, Wajir 14, Isebania 10, Namanga 16, Lungalunga 2 and Loitoktok 1. There will be a cessation of movement of persons and any passenger-ferrying automobiles and vehicles into and out of the Republic of Kenya through the Kenya-Tanzania international border except for cargo vehicles with effect from midnight tonight, Saturday, May 16, 2020,” ordered President Kenyatta.
Ummy held that the move by the government of Tanzania would ensure business continued for the two nations, despite indicators showing otherwise.
“There’s a lot we can say but at the end of the day this is what we’re saying, for us not to infect each other, and for businesses not be ruined, goods going from Tanzania to other countries, let the owners come for them at the border points. Goods from other countries, particularly our neighbours Kenya, will be taken to the final destinations from here,” she stated.
So far, Tanzania has 509 confirmed cases, but has not provided updates for over one week now.
Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli has also refused to attend all regional meetings held by regional head of states.