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Tanzanian officials harassing Kenyan tourists, says Kenya officials

11 April 2016, 14:33 John Kioko

Kwale - Differences between Kenya and Tanzania are still evident as tour operators and traders complained of intimidation by authorities when touring Tanzania for trade.

The most affected is the tourism sector where tour operators ferrying tourists to the neighboring Tanzania are denied entry by the authorities.

The issue, according to Kwale County trade executive Safina Kwekwe has brought confusion and disconnect between the two neighboring countries.

She said enactment of laws by the East Africa legislation assembly will ensure countries in the region work together in boosting tourism instead of competing.

“Tourist vans from Kenya are forced to transfer tourists to their Tanzanian counterparts instead of being given chance to take them around. Unless tour operators have offices in Tanzania, those in Kenya are not allowed to get in,” said Kwekwe.

Addressing Kwale residents during a forum organized by East Africa legislative assembly members at Leisure Lodge resort, Kwekwe said even vans ferrying goods from Kenya are not allowed to cross over into Tanzania.

“They are forced to offload the goods to Tanzanian vans and that is something the East African community needs to address urgently,” she said.

Read Also: President Kenyatta wants EAC integration hastened to promote businesses

She said that it is clear Kenyans feels discriminated by their Tanzanian colleagues who are supposed to be working together under east African community.

“It is time the East Africa tourism bill was enacted into law so that we can do tourism marketing together and also ensure the single visa policy is enacted by all member countries,” she added.

Kwekwe said it is unfortunate that many Kenyans depending on Korogwe region in Tanzania for trade are forced to produce work permit despite visiting the area frequently.

“We feel the move is mainly aimed at frustrating traders from Kenya especially those doing fruits, timber and cattle business from Kwale. East Africa legislative assembly should also look into this matter and address it with the urgency it deserves,” said Kwekwe.

A member of EALA, Abubakar Ogle said Kenyans should continue working under the east African community as they wait for Tanzania to make up their minds on the issue.

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