Kenyan Immigrants Expelled from Tanzania

Relations between Kenya and Tanzania continue to be uncertain following a directive that saw Kenyan immigrants  being asked to leave the country. Tension began in Namanga, Kajiado County, along the Kenya-Tanzania border after an order by President John Magufuli to expel Kenyan citizens with invalid immigration documents. Some Kenyans have however accused the Tanzanian government of targeting them unfairly.

There were protests in Namanga on 27th March and water supply as well as electricity supply to Tanzania was cut off by the protesters. There are fears of Tanzanians in Namanga being targeted as a retaliatory measure by Kenyans in the area.

The country’s officials have been accused of confiscating legal documentation of Kenyans before. In 2015, Kenyan tour vans from the Mara, Narok County, were barred from entering the country.

There have been mixed reviews on President John Magufuli. Some have praised his policies which they believe are good for the economy. On the other hand he has been criticized for restrictions on the opposition and media sources. His has been criticized on having ‘dictatorial tendencies’.

In addition, relations with Kenya seem to be strained, a claim with Magufuli has constantly denied. The President first visited Kenya in October 31st 2016 after denying that relations between the two states were strained.  Tanzania had refused to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement in July between the East Africa Community and the European Union following the Brexit vote. It was hoped that the visit would be a boost for Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amina Mohamed, to claim the top seat in the African Union. Tanzania however failed to vote for Kenya during the election in January 2017. Djibouti, Burundi and Uganda were among other countries in the region that failed to vote for Kenya.