22 February 2013

Tanzania: Hands Off Kenyan Polls, International Community Told

TANZANIAN and Kenyan Presidents have called on the international community to refrain from meddling in the forthcoming general elections in the East African country.

In a joint communiqué issued at the end of President Mwai Kibaki's two-day state visit to Tanzania on Thursday, the two leaders noted that as a sovereign state Kenya must be left to conduct its internal affairs freely. President Jakaya Kikwete assured his Kenyan counterpart that Tanzania will respect the choice to be made by the majority Kenyans in the elections which are just two weeks away.

The communiqué was read by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr Bernard Membe, on behalf of the two heads of state.

The presidents held official talks which centred on a number of issues including political and security situations in Somalia and urged for dialogue as the best way for achieving a lasting solution.

They further expressed satisfaction over the brotherly relationship that has been existing between the two countries, underscoring the importance of further solidifying the ties and exploring more areas of cooperation. Both countries promised to expand trade and increase exports as well as enhance efforts to fight the escalating threat of poaching.

Earlier, the Kenyan leader thanked the Tanzanian community, residents of Kinondoni Municipality in particular for giving him an utmost honour by naming the Old Bagamoyo Road after him. The function to rename the road was held at the junction of Old and New Bagamoyo Road at Morocco area and attended by both leaders. He urged Kinondoni residents living along the road to come up with a project that Kenya will implement as a tribute to the honour bestowed upon him.

"We will have to do something that will remind everyone who passes along this road of this honour and to remember me. Whatever you want us to do for this place, feel free to make it known to us, so that people who use this road will remember Kibaki and Kenya," he explained.

President Kibaki said it was time for him to step down after serving Kenya for two consecutive terms promising to use his free time to visit Tanzania more frequently. The Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner, Mr Said Meck Sadick, said the Mwai Kibaki Road which is 10.1 kilometre long was among the longest roads in the City.

The Kinondoni Mayor, Mr Yusuf Mwenda, said the road joins three wards, Mikocheni, Msasani and Kawe and is home to all four Tanzanian Presidents; Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, Ali Hassan Mwinyi, Benjamin Mkapa and President Kikwete.

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