On Tuesday, September 11th, 2007, Habari Leo newspaper (a Tanzanian daily) carried a story titled “Wakenya waanza visingizio” (Kenyans now start spewing excuses) on its front page.
The article started by saying that Kenyans were complaining that they were finding it increasingly hard to cross the border into Tanzania as they were being mistreated by immigration officers at the borders.
For instance, at the Isebania border post, there is a heavy presence of immigration officers hell bent on checking the ‘insalubrious’ influx of Kenyans into Tanzania. Kenyans found without the requisite travel documents have had to go through harrowing experiences.
This has left a bad taste in the mouths of Kenyans as they rightly ask why they are being mistreated while the Tanzanians crossing the border do so without a fuss being raised.
In the past, Kenyan businessmen were crossing the border on their way to Tarime (which is 25 kilometres from the Isebania border post) without any problem whatsoever. But now, according to these businessmen, things have changed.
There are many Kenyans working in Tanzania, the newspaper continues, and hundreds of Tanzanians working in Kenya as small scale business people, bartenders and sellers of second hand clothes (Mitumba in East Africa speak). This is slowly becoming a thing of the past as mistrust stealthily creeps between peoples of the two countries.
This mistrust has further been amplified by the recent armed robberies on Tanzanian soil thanks to robbers of Kenyan descent. This state of affairs has received the full vent of Tanzanian President Mr. Kikwete and the Minister for Internal Security Mr. Bakari Mwapachu.
The good intention of the East Africa Community, where it behooves us to live as brothers and sisters, is being sacrificed at the altar of bureaucracy and misconstruction. In fact, things are being taken for what they are not – literally speaking.
That’s my take. What’s yours?
Raila Odinga secretly met John Githongo in London last month
Guess what John Githongo's nickname was when he worked at State House
When will PNU wake up and get a serious campaign going?