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President Kenyatta to visit Tanzania’s Magufuli at his Chato home

President Uhuru Kenyatta is Friday expected to make a two-day private visit to Tanzania on a special invitation by his counterpart John Pombe Magufuli.

Mr Kenyatta will be hosted at Dr Magufuli’s home in Mlimani, Chato in northwestern region of Geita, according to a statement by State House Dar es Salaam.

“The President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta will arrive in the country on Friday at 10am at Chato airport. He will then proceed to President Magufuli’s home in Mlimani Chato District,” reads the statement released on Wednesday.

President Magufuli is currently taking a breather off busy schedules and state duties.

The visit comes at a time when there is tension between the two countries following the recent hate remarks by Starehe MP Charles Njagua alias Jaguar targeted at foreigners doing business in Nairobi, including Tanzanians.

The remarks last week sparked a heated debate in the Tanzanian Parliament as legislators threatened diplomatic action against Kenya.

Opposition leader Freeman Mbowe warned that such xenophobic statements must not be taken lightly.

He told the Dodoma-based Parliament that although Mr Njagua had uttered the words as an individual person, such cannot be ignored as it can easily put the lives of Tanzanians who have invested in Kenya at risk.

“Mr Speaker we have specifically been mentioned by the said MP and we cannot sit and ignore. Kenya government must move swiftly and act against such actions that might breed enmity with our Kenyan brothers,” Mr Mbowe said.

On Wednesday, Kenya’s High Commissioner to Tanzania Mr Dan Kazungu met Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa in his office to deliver Kenya’s response following the Njagua remarks.

SPECIAL MESSAGE

The Kenyan government said it had since taken action against the MP, who was arrested and charged in court, terming the sentiment as personal.

A statement from Majaliwa’s office confirmed that President Kenyatta had sent Mr Kazungu to deliver the special message to Dr Magufuli.

“The unfortunate exploitation of the freedom of free speech to dehumanise foreign communities and incite local constituents undermines the welcoming culture that Kenya is reputed for, and has to be condemned,” the statement reads.

Mr Njagua was released on Wednesday on a Sh500,000 cash bail after being locked up in police custody for seven days.

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