Kenya’s Ban on Tourist Undiplomatic – Tanzania Minister
Tanzania tourism minister Dr. Harrison Mwakyembe has said a negotiation process is in the offing to see a sustainable agreement between Tanzania and Kenya tourism authorities to break the impasse between them after Kenya slapped another ban on tourist vehicles from accessing her Airport.
Referring to Kenya’s move as undiplomatic, Dr Mwakyembe told a news conference at his office in Dar es Salaam that Tanzania will despite the ban harbor tourist vehicles from other countries including Kenya without any questions.
“We are not going to do what our neighbor has done…” Dr. Mwakyembe noted
“Tanzania will continue to allow vehicles registered in any of the countries to receive and send tourists to all our airports because they are not part of our tourist attractions.” He added
He said the ministry has setup a sector committee that will come up with a national common ground on the 1985 agreement between the states which is said to be the cause the standoff between the two states.
In the 1985 pact, both states agreed that no tour vehicle from another will be allowed to carry passengers cross the border line. Tanzania earlier noted that the move was structured to empower local tourist operators in the country.
Kenya issued the first ban on Tanzania tourist vehicles in December last year which was lifted in January after concealed negotiation in which a three week ultimatum was reached as a period to device measures to counter the problem.
Kenya’s Tourist minister Phyllis Kandie issued a new ban this week saying Tanzania didn’t honor the ultimatum and failed to live up to the pledge to organize state meeting on the issue.
Meanwhile Tanzania tourism minister said the issue was not a two state affair noting that it also took liaising with other regional stake holders to solve the issue
“This is not a matter to be resolved by two ministers alone and giving each other ultimatums. The 1985 agreement has been maintaining sanity in the tourism industry between our two countries, which share almost the same nature of attractions”.
The minister said his country will issue notice to visitors to use alternative routes and home airports as negotiations into the matter continues. He condemned the use of Ban to force the country on a negotiating table