Tanzanians have expressed utter disappointment after learning their president, John Magufuli, failed to grace President Uhuru Kenyatta’s swearing in ceremony on Tuesday, November 28.
Tanzanian State House had reportedly said several times that Magufuli would represent his country at Uhuru and William Ruto’s big day, only for his deputy, Samia Suluhu, to show up at Kasarani Stadium at the eleventh hour.
Now, according to a report by Tanzanian daily The Citizen on Tuesday, Tanzanians are not happy with the move as they reckon it would worsen the already frosty relationship between Kenya and their country amid belief by many that Magufuli is a supporter of his friend Raila Odinga instead of backing the Kenyan government of the day.
“That was not the right thing for President Maguuli. His absence will even intensify rumours that he sided with Raila Odinga during the electioneering period in Kenya,” a Justin Ole Ngeresa said.
Another Tanzanian is quoted saying that the Swahili-speaking nation would suffer in regional and international diplomacy following Magufuli’s decision to skip President Kenyatta’s swearing in ceremony.
Tanzanian government did not give a concrete reason for Magufuli’s absence, barely a week after the leader reportedly met with Kenya’s Opposition leader Raila Odinga.
It is said Raila and Magufuli met in Zanzibar during Raila’s short stay but the details of the meet up have not been shared with the wider public.
Just recently, Kenya was embroiled in a diplomatic row with the neighbouring country after President Magufuli ordered the auctioning of Kenyan cattle that had trespassed to the other side of the border.