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Who is fooling who? Kenyan fishermen arrested moments after Kenya-TZ cross-border trade agreement.


On Wednesday, during Samia Suluhu’s visit to the country, Kenya waived work and business permits for investors from its neighbour Tanzania, as Uhuru’s counterpart made similar overtures in a thawing of often frosty relations between the two countries.


“We would like to see many investors from Tanzania coming to do business in Kenya. And I want to say this, Tanzanian investors are free to come and do business in Kenya without being required to have business visas or work permits,” Kenyatta said during a Kenya-Tanzania business meeting in Nairobi.


“The only thing you will be required to do is to follow the laid down regulations and the laws,” he told the meeting, attended by Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan.

 


However, despite these heartfelt reassurances, on the very same day (Wednesday evening), two Kenyan boats were impounded and six fishermen arrested while on a fishing expedition.

 

The fishermen from Kibro Beach in Muhuru Bay, Migori County were rounded up by Tanzanian police officers who took them to Sota beach in in Northern Mara District.

 

Kibro Beach Management Unit Chairman Maulid Joel said that the authorities demanded Sh50,000 for each boat in order release them.

 

“We sent our representatives to seek the release of the two boats and the fishermen and they were told they have to pay. The boats had the day’s catch and other fishing gears,” Mr Joel said.

He expressed shock that the arrests came at a time when the Tanzanian president was in the country for bilateral talks to mend frosty relations and enhance working ties between the two countries, which had deteriorated during the reign of former president John Pombe Magufuli.

 

“The heightened cases of arrest by Tanzanian security officers are yet to be resolved. We would like the government to assure us of our safety while conducting our businesses,” Mr Joel said.

Muhuru Bay MCA Hevron Maira said the arrests were an insult to the bilateral talks and peace efforts between the two countries.

“We are also tax paying Kenyans and the talks by the two presidents should be felt by the common wananchi, especially we who live along the Kenya-Tanzania border,” Mr Maira said.

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Written by Joshua Wanga

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  1. Soufan lived in Pennsylvania, and he never suffered from prejudice because he was a Muslim Arab. In high school, he won many academic awards. He attended Mansfield University, in central Pennsylvania, where he was elected president of the student government. In 1997, he received a master’s degree in international relations from Villanova University, outside Philadelphia. He initially planned to continue his studies in a Ph.D. program. But he had developed a fascination with the U.S. Constitution—in particular, with its guarantees of freedom of speech, religion, and assembly, and the right to a speedy trial. “People who are born into this system may take it for granted,” he said. “You don’t know how important these rights are if you haven’t lived in a country where you can be arrested or killed and not even know why.” Like many naturalized citizens, Soufan felt indebted for the new life he had been given. Although he was poised for an academic career, he decided—“almost as a joke,” he says—to send his resume to the F.B.I. He thought it was nearly inconceivable that the bureau would hire someone with his background. Yet in July, 1997, a letter arrived instructing him to report to the F.B.I. Academy, in Quantico, Virginia, in two weeks. Upon graduation, Soufan went to the New York bureau. He was soon assigned to the I-40 squad, which concentrated mainly on the Islamist paramilitary group Hamas, but, in 1998, on the day after the East African embassy bombings, O’Neill drafted him into I-49, which had become the lead unit in the F.B.I.’s investigation of Al Qaeda.

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