By Victoria Magar
Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu arrived in Kenya today for talks with her host President Uhuru Kenyatta, in her first state visit to Kenya since taking over power, Suluhu took over following the death of Pombe Magufuli.
President Suluhu’s visit, the second outside her country since taking office on March 19, follows a similar visit to Uganda where she signed a petroleum pipeline deal with President Yoweri Museveni.
She was set to address ajoint sesion of the Senate and the National Assembly as part of her itinerary in Nairobi.
During her visit to Uganda on April 11,President Suluhu inked a deal which would see a 1,445 kilometre East African Oil Pipeline constructed linking Ugandan oilfields in the Albertine rift to Tanzania’s seaport of Tanga.
Uganda, being a landlocked country, had until the April 11 signing been rooting for the construction of the pipeline which is key to the evacuation of oil reserves discovered in 2006, estimated at six billion barrels.
Kenya’s bid to have the pipeline rooted to Lamu through Lokichar suffered a blow in March 2016 after Tanzania and Uganda jointly announced plans to fund the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), also known as the Uganda–Tanzania Crude Oil Pipeline (UTCOP) running from Hoima to Tanga through Bukoba.
The parliament is set to hold a special joint sitting tommorow for an address by Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan.
President Suluhu arrived in the country today morning and was scheduled to hold bilateral talks with her host president Uhuru Kenyata at State House, Nairobi.
Speakers of the bicameral House, Justin Muturi of the National Assembly and his Senate counterpart Kenneth Lusaka said the special session will be held tommorow afternoon in the National Assembly chambers.
Speaker Lusaka notified members that the agenda that had initially been set for the House during the Wednesday sitting including the consideration of the impeachment motion of Wajir Governor Mohammed Mohamud and the debate of the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2020 had been canceled.
“Accordingly, I notify all Senators that the special sittings of the Senate scheduled for Wednesday at 10.00 a.m. and 2.30 p.m., as set out in Gazette Notice No. 4196 of 2021, are cancelled,” he said.
Officials said Parliament will use the meeting to bolster the two nations’ ties after months of strained relations, fuelled by border closures during the COVID-19 lockdown.