Kenya: Apology - 'Former Envoy to Kenya Pindi Chana Tour of Duty Ended December 2019'

Dar es Salaam — The ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation has said former Tanzania High Commissioner to Kenya Dr Pindi Chana was replaced last week after ending her tour of duty.

The Ministry's Permanent Secretary Colonel Wilbert Ibuge said in a signed statement today, May 25, 2020, that the envoy's tenure ended in December 2019. The PS noted that the delay to replace her was part of the normal diplomatic procedure and practice.

The Nairobi posting was filled last week by Dr John Stephen Simbachawene following his swearing in by President John Magufuli at the State House in Dodoma.

"Dr Simbachawene would only be sworn in and eventually proceed to his appointed station after the receiving state had formally given its approval to receive him as Tanzania's next envoy," reads the statement.

The statement further adds that this diplomatic etiquette is one that has endured the test of time and that it is a procedure that is well anchored in the Vienna Convention of 1961 on diplomatic relations.

"It was on the basis of the completion of this diplomatic requirement that HE Dr John Pombe Magufuli, President of the United Republic of Tanzania swore in the Ambassador-designate Dr John Stephen Simbachawene as Tanzania's next Commissioner," writes the PS in his statement.

Dr Simbachawene was sworn in to the new posting on Thursday May 21 alongside other envoys to Algeria and Mozambique.

Colonel Ibuge refuted a story by The Citizen, saying it suggested that Ms Chana had been removed in relation to recent Tanzania-Kenya border crossing challenges.

The Citizen reported on Friday May 22 that the Nairobi posting had raised eyebrows after a statement announcing the changes remained silent on Ms Chana's status. It has since come to our attention that she was not "removed" rather her tour had ended.

Our reporting didn't in any way aim to connect her recalling with tensions at the border.

The Citizen apologises for our report being perceived to link the two incidences and we regret any inconvenience caused by the report to Ambassador Pindi Chana, the government and the general public.

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