Kenya's parliament has voted to nationalise Kenya Airways, the country's main airline and one of sub-Saharan Africa's largest [Thomas Mukoya/Reuters]

The diplomatic standoff between Kenya and its EAC counterpart Tanzania has gotten worse after the Kiswahili-speaking nation banned KQ from its airspace.

The Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) said in a statement that is has revoked approval granted to Kenya Airways to resume international flights to Tanzania “on a reciprocal basis”.

“The authority regrets to inform you that, on a reciprocal basis, the Tanzanian government has decided to nullify its approval for Kenya Airways flights between Nairobi and Dar/Kilimanjaro/Zanzibar effective August 1, 2020, until further notice,” the statement by TCAA director-general Hamza. S. Johari said.

After Kenya excluded Tanzania from the list of international flights to resume tomorrow, a letter surfaces indicating that the EAC neighbour has reiterated by blocking Kenya Airways from flying to its airports.

This action is after transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia failed to include Tanzania among countries whose passengers would be excepted from mandatory quarantine.

Passengers to be exempted from quarantine are from South Korea, Japan, Canada, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Namibia, Switzerland Uganda, and Morocco.

The action to revoke KQ from Tanzania airspace is a tip of an iceberg that things are not good between Kenya and Tanzania.

Earlier this week, Tanzanian Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation minister Prof Palamagamba Kabudi announced during the farewell ceremony of the former leader Benjamin Mkapa at Uhuru Stadium that Kenyan officials could not attend the burial even unclear circumstances.

Kenyan officials tried to downplay the action, citing bad weather.

“It was a technical problem. Kenya was, therefore, represented by High Commissioner Dan Kazungu. He is at the funeral service,” head of public communications Jane Kariuki said on the phone.

Tanzania last announced its Covid-19 numbers on April 29, when it put the cases at 480 and 21 deaths.

Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention puts the numbers at 509 confirmed cases and 21 deaths.


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