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Magufuli: I Don’t Regret Auctioning Kenya’s Cattle

Tanzanian President Dr John Pombe Magufuli has come out in agreement with a decision by his administration to auction over 1000 cattle from Kenyan pastoralists which had trespassed to his country, reports the Standard.

In a ‘no regret’ tone, Magufuli said his administration will not spare any livestock finding its way in his jurisdiction in the future that does not belong to Tanzanian farmers.

He said his country has for long been made a grazing field for ‘neighbouring’ pastoral communities who have encroached some parts of the country’s parks denying his nation the most needed revenue from tourism.

He said though Tanzania is big with vast land, it cannot be used as a livestock feeding ground.

Magufuli said his administration is responsible for protection of the country’s parks and environment to attract tourists and it will do so at all costs.

“And in that line, those who sneak with their livestock in this country will not be spared. We will confiscate them and do to them according to what our laws instruct,” said Magufuli.

He added that he will also not interfere if pastoralists from his country trespass the borders to another nation’s jurisdiction. “Even them (the other country) can do the livestock as per their laws,” he said.

Magufuli’s statement which made up part of his one hour speech as he was unveiling a staggering Sh1.5 billion airport in Kagera region on Monday seems to be adding salt on Kenya’s injury following the misfortunes that have befallen farmers and businessmen.

Last month, a court in Tanzania ordered the auction of about 1,300 cows belonging to the Masai community in Kenya. This is after the herders failed to pay a fine of about Tsh500 million which is about Sh23 million.

Kenyan foreign affairs office is said to have tried to negotiate with the Tanzanian government over the issue but its efforts were futile. A week ago, Tanzania in a public show of superiority torched 6,400 one day old chicks from Kenya worth over Sh500, 000 on argument that they were on a look out for bird flu and it would be so expensive and catastrophic for their farmers if an outbreak was to happen.

A ban instituted in 2007 restricts Tanzania from importing chicken. Magufuli said his government will be registering all livestock in his country as one of the steps to commercialise the sector.

Kenya and Tanzania relationship has been frosty in the recent past with each country trying to outdo each other from advertising themselves as the best tourism destination areas to infrastructure development that are aimed to attract investors.

A major one is when Tanzania declined to be part of Kenya’s highly praised Sh380 billion diesel powered Standard Gauge Railway during its inception-while other East African countries agreed to the round table meeting-only to unveil plans to build its own electric powered rail just after Kenya had launched hers this year.
 

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