Neighbouring country Tanzania’s Head of State Samia Suluhu is scheduled to visit Kenya on Tuesday, State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena Mararo has confirmed.
In a brief press statement released on Sunday, Kanze Dena said Suluhu will arrive in the country on Tuesday, May 4, 2021, for a two day State Visit.
“President Uhuru Kenyatta will receive his Tanzania counterpart at State House, Nairobi on the same day,” the statement reads.
President Kenyatta, had last month, through Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed, invited the new Tanzanian Head of State to Kenya.
The visit is aimed at enhancing Kenya’s relations and cooperation with the neighbouring country.
Kenya’s trade relationship with Tanzania has been lukewarm.
Strained relations have in the past led to closure of borders, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic under the late President John Pombe Magufuli’s administration.
Recently, Kenya banned maize imports from Tanzania and Uganda over high levels of aflatoxin.
Through a letter dated March 5, 2020, signed by the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) acting director-general, Kello Harsana, it was revealed that the maize imported from the aforementioned countries contained high levels of mycotoxins which are consistently beyond the limits of 10 parts per billion (ppb).
The Ministry of Agriculture later lifted the ban but imposed strict rules on importers.
The Ministry of Agriculture said in March that all stakeholders dealing in maize imports would be required to be registered, the consignments coming in must be accompanied with a certificate of conformity on aflatoxin levels and that traders have to issue details of their warehouses.
The Tuesday visit will be Suluhu’s second trip out of the country since taking over from Magufuli, who passed on in March this year.
On April 11, she visited Uganda where Tanzania and the host nation signed a deal to build East Africa’s first major oil pipeline.
Suluhu’s administration and that of President Yoweri Museveni entered into an agreement to build a 1,445km, $3.5 billion (Ksh375 billion) crude oil pipeline.
A similar deal that would have seen the pipeline routed through Kenya failed in 2016 after Ugandan authorities chose Tanzania over our country.
While choosing the Tanzania route, Uganda cited security and cost concerns.
In their negotiations with Kenyan counterparts, Ugandan officials had suggested a shorter route through Nairobi, but it failed because it would have required displacements in settled areas.
The officials were concerned that if the pipeline was built through Lokichar to the Lamu Port, the construction would be delayed by land settlement cases.