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Friday, December 12, 2014

Tanzania and Kenya to strengthen bilateral relations

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Bernard K. Membe (MP) making a statement during the occasion of commemorating the 51st Independence of the Republic of Kenya that was celebrated on 11th December 2014 at the Kenyan High Commission premises in Dar es Salaam.


Your Excellency, Ambassador Boniface Muhia, Charge D’ Affaires of the Republic of Kenya;

Your Excellency, Juma Alfani Mpango,                            Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps;

Your Excellency, Ambrósio Lukoki,                                   Ambassador of the Republic of Angola and Dean of the African Diplomatic Group;

Your Excellencies Ambassadors and High Commissioners;

Heads of International Organizations;

Distinguished Guests;

Ladies and Gentlemen:

It gives me a great pleasure to grace this momentous occasion of commemorating the 51st Independence Anniversary of the Republic of Kenya.   I would like therefore to express my heartfelt appreciation to Your Excellency, Ambassador Boniface Muhia and the entire staff of the esteemed High Commission of the Republic of Kenya for extending an invitation to me to grace the commemoration of this special day, Jamhuri Day

As I join you in the commemoration, I would like, on behalf of the Government and People of the United Republic of Tanzania, and indeed on my own behalf, to extend to Your Excellency and, through you, to the Government and People of the Republic of Kenya our heartfelt and sincere congratulations on this auspicious occasion of commemorating the 51st anniversary of the independence of your great country. 

Your Excellency,
Distinguished Guests,
The commemoration of this historic day is an opportunity to have a glimpse of the historic events that led Kenya to where it is today.  As it may be recalled, the people of Kenya remained strongly united through the Mau Mau initiative and put to an end the colonial domination in their country.  This resilience has no doubt made Kenya to prosper not only in the political sphere but also in the socio-economic fields. Thus, with fifty one years down the line, we have seen Kenya become the regional transport hub with excellent road and railway infrastructure connecting countries and the East African Community (EAC) region at large.  We have also seen Kenya rapidly transforming herself into a large-scale economy. 
Therefore, today, as we celebrate the 51st anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Kenya, our Brothers and Sisters of Kenya certainly have all the reasons to be proud of the fact that they celebrate their Independence Anniversary as a unified population matched by rapid economic development.  In this connection, we congratulate them for the achievements.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
The commemoration of this historic day is also an opportunity to express my satisfaction that Tanzania and Kenya enjoy excellent bilateral relations.  These relations that have existed from time immemorial, are evidenced by the close interactions of the people of the two countries through trade and other social and cultural activities. 

The relations between the two countries were further strengthened under the framework of the EAC.  In cooperation with the other EAC Partner States, the two countries have remained resolute in promoting their economies by embarking on rigorous programmes to boost the living standards of their peoples.  The operationalization of the Customs Union and the Common Market Protocols in 2010 ushered in more avenues for increased cooperation not only between the two countries but also among all the EAC Partner States. 

Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The establishment of the Joint Permanent Commission (JPC) between Tanzania and Kenya in 2009 set the pace for greater cooperation between the two brotherly countries. Through the JPC, we have been intensifying cooperation in various areas such as agriculture, tourism, social affairs, infrastructure and science and technology. The onus is upon us to ensure that we implement all the agreed programmes under the JPC without delay for the mutual benefit of our two countries and their peoples.

Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Before I conclude, I wish to express grave concern on the terrorist attacks in Kenya that continue to threaten the peace not only in that country but also in the region. Recently, as we all know, there was an attack in Mandera, Kenya whereby 36 people were killed.  This attack was the second one in the same area following the brutal killing of 28 people on a passenger bus.  These attacks on innocent civilians threaten the lives of Kenyans as well as the lives of the people in the entire EAC countries. These barbaric acts are unacceptable and we in the region, the continent and the world, at large, should speak strongly against them and take action to halt them. In this connection, we would like to assure our kith and kin in Kenya that we are with them through these trying moments as they tirelessly work to halt these violent acts. We pray that the Almighty God rest the souls of those who died, as a result of such terror attacks, in eternal peace and comfort the bereaved families, relatives and friends.

Recently too, as we all know, the Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague decided to withdraw the charges of crimes against humanity against H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya.  I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate the ICC for its decision of withdrawing the charges against H.E. President Kenyatta.  I also congratulate H.E. President Kenyatta for having accepted to appear before the court in The Hague, which clearly showed that his conscience was clear.

Though there are still some cases at the ICC involving African leaders, we will continue to support efforts aimed at ensuring justice for the other similar cases that involve the African leaders.  To that end, the forthcoming African Union (AU) Summit scheduled to take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in January 2015, would offer a good opportunity for the AU Member States to discuss that matter with the attention it deserves.        

Ladies and Gentlemen,
In conclusion, on behalf of the Government and People of the United Republic of Tanzania, I would like to once again congratulate Your Excellency, the Government and the People of the Republic of Kenya on marking the 51st Independence Anniversary.  I wish also to reaffirm Tanzania’s commitment to enhance cooperation with Kenya, as our closest neighbour, for the mutual benefit of the two countries and their peoples.

Your Excellency,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
May I now ask all of you present here to raise your glasses and join me in a toast:

  • To the continued good health of H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta,                President of the Republic of Kenya;
  • To the continued brotherly relations existing between our two countries;
  • To the continued good health of all of us present here tonight.

Ahsante Sana kwa Kunisikiliza.

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