Kenya protests to Tanzania over confiscation of Charles Keter's passport

The Foreign Affairs ministry will launch a formal complaint with their Tanzanian counterparts over mistreatment of Kenyans in Tanga.

Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter, his principal secretary Joseph Njoroge, Petroleum PS Andrew Kamau and Lapsset Chief Executive Officer Sylvester Kasuku were denied entry into Tanga Port and their passports confiscated.

They had arrived in the region alongside a Ugandan delegation for the inspection of the port that is competing with Lamu and Mombasa as the exit point for Uganda's petroleum in Hoima.

A senior State House official who did not want to be named because the matter was being handled at the Foreign Affairs ministry said the incident was "unfortunate" and that Kenya would protest to the Tanzanian government through its high commissioner in Dar es salaam.

"I can confirm to you that the matter will be handled through our Foreign Affairs ministry. The incident was embarrassing," the official said.

He said the Tanzanian government was aware of the planned trip, which was part of an assessment of the three ports of Lamu, Mombasa and Tanga to check the suitability of the ports for Ugandan petroleum.

But Tanga Regional Commissioner Martin Shigela reportedly said Tanzania was not informed of the visit by the Kenyan delegation.

The Kenyan team was in Tanzania to participate in joint talks between Uganda and Tanzania on the dispute over Uganda's oil pipeline.

The official said the ministers from Kenya and Uganda are supposed to brief President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Ugandan counterpart President Yoweri Museveni in Kampala in two weeks on their findings.

The visit was part of follow-up after negotiations between Presidents Kenyatta and Museveni at State House, Nairobi, on the pipeline collapsed on Monday this week.