On Tuesday, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration gave out the list of countries that would fly in Kenya as the international flights are on the verge of resumption in the country on Saturday.
Of the eleven countries that Kenya allowed to in Kenya, Tanzania was not one of them.
In a communique announced by Transport CS James Macharia, countries that fly in Kenya include Chine, South Korea, Japan, Canada, Uganda, France, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Switzerland, and Morocco.
According to CS Macharia, the mentioned countries have mild and limited community transmission of coronavirus.
However, the CS added that list would be reviewed regularly depending on circumstances on the ground and after comprehensive global mapping of the intensity of the virus.
The CS further directed all passengers arriving in the country to produce PCR based COVID-19 certificate whose tests should have been done 96 hours before taking the flight.
“Let it be clear that those who will have a certificate of tests done before the stipulated 96 hrs will not be allowed to board in the first place. On arrival the passengers’ temperature should not exceed 37.5 degrees and not display any Covid-19 related signs,” Macharia said.
Only passengers who produce the certificate will be exempted from quarantine
The CS said those traveling out of the country must abide by the Covid-19 requirement of destination countries and before boarding, airline operators are instructed to check the compliance.
“Passengers arriving after curfew hours shall be allowed to proceed to their hotels but must have a valid passport and boarding pass,” he said.
Drivers carrying passengers who have arrived past curfew hours will be required to provide evidence that they came from the airport.
“For those departing after the curfew hours, they must have a valid boarding pass before they are allowed,” he said.
One thing that shocked many was the exclusion of Tanzania, Kenya’s immediate neighbor from the list as the diplomatic wrangles between the two countries continue.
Earlier in the week, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied claims that the Kenyan delegation to President Benjamin Mkapa’s funeral was turned back to Nairobi mid-air by the Tanzanian authorities.
The plane carrying Senate Majority leader Samuel Poghisio returned as soon as it reached Monduli in Tanzania according to reports.
This was confirmed by Tanzania’s Foreign Affairs Minister Palamagamba Kabudi, who said they were expecting President Uhuru envoy but that received information that the plane carrying had been forced to turn mid-air because of bad weather.
“We were expected to have with us the special envoy representing President Uhuru Kenyatta, Senator Samuel Losuron Poghisio… but we have received information that his plane was forced to turn mid-air in Monduli. The information we have is that the plane is expected to land safely in Nairobi,” Kabudi said.
Kenya’s Foreign Affairs ministry agreed with the Tanzanian authorities’ version of events.
“It was a technical problem. Kenya was, therefore, represented by High Commissioner Dan Kazungu. He is at the funeral service,” head of public communications Jane Kariuki said on the phone.
The allegations of possible retaliation by Tanzania were linked to comments made by President Uhuru Kenyatta during his 10th Presidential Adress on Covid-19.
President Kenyatta on Monday told his countrymen no to think countries that are not releasing their Covid-19 cases are doing any better in handling the pandemic.
“Let’s not compare ourselves and say some places don’t have the virus. Why do we have it, and they don’t? Let me remind Kenyans, we live in a democracy where there is media freedom. As a state, we don’t have the power to hide anything. Whatever happens, we tell you.”
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“There are others who have that power. But we are proud of the fact that we are a democracy and can tell each other the truth and face the reality instead of sweeping the truth under the carpet and have our citizens suffer quietly,” Uhuru said.
President Uhuru did not list Tanzania since it has constantly been accused of sitting on Covid-19 data and restricting news reporting about the pandemic.
Tanzania last announced its Covid-19 numbers on April 29, when it out the cases at 480 and 21 deaths. And recently President Magufuli declared his country coronavirus free and all everything has gone back to normal in his territory.
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