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President Magufuli jets in for two-day State visit

By Graham Kajilwa | Published Mon, October 31st 2016 at 00:00, Updated October 31st 2016 at 11:17 GMT +3
Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli is expected in the country today, State House spokesperson Manoah Esipisu has confirmed. PHOTO: COURTESY

Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli is expected in the country today, State House spokesperson Manoah Esipisu has confirmed.

President Magufuli’s visit comes immediately after the conclusion of a two-day visit to Sudan by President Uhuru Kenyatta where matters on financial services, tourism and agriculture were discussed.

During the tour, President Kenyatta and his Sudan counterpart, Omar al Bashir, re-affirmed their commitment in security and especially the war against terror.

“There will be continued engagement through information and intelligence sharing in seeking to build up efforts in counter-terrorism as well as trans-boundary organised crimes, cyber crimes, money laundering, human trafficking and other security challenges of mutual concern,” said Mr Esipisu in a statement on the Sudan visit.

This will be Magufuli’s first visit in the country since his election in October 2015.

Esipisu said there will be one-on-one bilateral talks between President Kenyatta and his guest.

“And on Tuesday, President Magufuli will officially open the Southern Bypass in Nairobi and visit a dairy farm in Karen,” read the statement.

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He said Magufuli’s visit offers the two countries a chance to renew and deepen their partnership.

BILATERAL TALKS

“The two Heads of Government will discuss a wide range of issues of mutual interest at the bilateral and regional level. Our focus will be on the areas in which there already has been consultation, and where we can expect concrete results to be announced,” said Esipisu.

Among the issued to be discussed include work permit fees charged to Kenyan nationals, as well as the high university fees charged to Kenyan nationals by the Tanzanian government.

“Discussions on non-tariff barriers between both countries will also feature in the talks, as well as operation of tour vans across our common borders,” said Esipisu.

SKIPPED TICAD

In August, President Magufuli had skipped the Tokyo International Conference for African Development (Ticad) held in Kenya despite being invited. Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed downplayed his absence.

Magufuli is known to be a critic of Kenya and his visit to the country comes at a time when President Kenyatta is being faced with the huge hurdle of taking action against corrupt individuals in his government that the non-nonsense Tanzanian leader does not tolerate back in his backyard.

Magufuli is known for dealing with corruption on the spot once the news gets to him.

The leader has also been the main man against the push for the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), which Kenya was forced to sign and ratify to avoid sanction after Tanzania and Burundi staged a go-slow.

As part of the talks, Esipisu said, the revival of the Kenya-Tanzania Joint Commission for Co-operation (JCC) will also be featured. This is a platform through which promotion of trade and investments in both countries is propagated.

“President Kenyatta will also engage with President Magufuli on Amina Mohammed’s candidature for the chairperson of the African Union Commission,” said Esipisu.


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