Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli has congratulated his Kenyan counterpart President Uhuru Kenyatta for acting swiftly and arresting Starehe MP Charles Njaguar following his xenophobic remarks that threatened to collapse the relationship between the two East African States.
Speaking on Saturday at a diplomatic event in Chato town, in Tanzania after hosting Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta for two days, Magufuli castigated the legislator, popularly known by his artistic name Jaguar, for uttering words he termed as ‘poisonous’ and detrimental to the unity of the two nations.
” I sincerely thank you, Mr. President, for the steps taken by your government following the remarks by one person aimed at dividing the people of Kenya and Tanzania. You did an excellent job.” Said Dr. Magufuli for the first time since the incident.
“Words sometimes tent to become poisonous especially from people who seek cheap populism” he added
According to Magufuli, Kenya is among the top five countries investing in Tanzania, with 504 ongoing development projects worth Sh170 billion.He further said that Kenya is home to many Tanzanians and vice versa.
Uhuru’s visit to Tanzania came amid efforts to defuse tension after Jaguar’s hate remarks targeted at foreigners doing business in Nairobi, including Tanzanians.
The MP was arrested on June 26 for remarks that were termed as xenophobic. While speaking in Kamukunji, Jaguar expressed his displeasure with foreign traders in local markets.
Jaguar had called on Interior CS Fred Matiangí to ensure the foreigners are out of the market, threatening to beat them and drive them to the airport if the government failed to heed his advice.
On his part, President Uhuru Kenyatta assured his host that no one can succeed in separating Kenyans and their Tanzanian brothers. Kenyatta said the two countries were thriving at creating a prosperous East African Community EAC and that he cannot allow some few individuals to derail these efforts.
“How can you tell a Tanzanian that he cannot come to Kenya to do business or visit their own relative? We are striving at making our people free to move across boundaries as well as to do free trade” said Uhuru
The two Presidents agreed that it was important to improve and strengthen their relations in areas of trade and investments including developing infrastructures connecting the two nations.
Magufuli was so pleased that he gifted President Uhuru Kenyatta with four of his peak cock birds, a gift he termed as special since he had never given neither was he hoping to give any other leader in the future.