Neighbours Kenya and Tanzania are caught up in a new row regarding grazing land for cattle.
This happened after a Tanzanian court decided to auction 1,300 cows belonging to Kenyan Maasais that were confiscated across the border.
Tanzanian President John Magufuli, in a press statement issued from State House, declared that his country is not grazing land for Kenyan cows. He added that Tanzania followed the law by arresting and auctioning the cows belonging to Kenyans.
“Let them [Kenyans] also take similar action if cows from Tanzania are arrested in their country,” he said without mentioning Kenya by name.
The auctioned cows belonged to farmers from Loikitokitok, in Kajiado South.
Loikitokitok DC, Abdi Jaldesa, told reporters that the herders had crossed over to Tanzania, with their livestock in search of pasture due to the prolonged drought on the Kenyan side.
He added that it is a common occurrence among Maasais residing on either side of the border to do so.
“Herders from Tanzania also get into Kenya whenever they experience drought. These people are brothers and sisters,” said Mr. Jaldesa.
Read Also: Methane Gas Discovered In Kajiado County
Magufuli’s statement did not go down well with Kajiado Governor Joseph ole Lenku, who accused Magufuli of sabotaging good neighborliness.
“This man [Magufuli] is a disgrace to East Africans. He continues to sabotage good neighborliness with his government officers harassing Kenyans over flimsy grounds,” said Mr. Lenku.
“I have lobbied for diplomacy to apply when issues arise in mutual respect of East Africa citizens. However, Maasai Morans are being driven to defend themselves. We can’t tolerate this anymore.”
The governor further said that the Tanzanian President needs to appreciate the fact that there are more Tanzanian cows on the Kenyan side than there are Kenyan cows in Tanzania.
“If he can’t appreciate the neighborliness we have enjoyed, then we can cut short our ties. He has made citizens from both counties to suffer his actions. He must not provoke us further.”