As this issue of TA goes to press the Tanzanian Government announced its stand on the crisis in Kenya following the alleged fixing of the presidential election there.
It said that Tanzania was very concerned about the situation in Kenya and was happy that no Tanzanians had been injured. It advised Tanzanians not to visit the country while the disturbances continued. It said that it would not be good for Tanzania to take sides but it would be ready to listen to what they had to say.
As an indication of Tanzania’s importance to Kenya in its tribulations, President Kikwete received messages from both sides in the dispute. One was presented to President Kikwete by Kibaki supporter Uhuru Kenyatta and the other by the Secretary General of Raila Odingo’s Party (ODM), Prof. Peter Onyong’o. In his responses, President Kikwete said he was happy to hear the willingness by leaders to hold a dialogue and added: “ am saddened by what is happening in Kenya.”
Four Tanzanian opposition parties (Civic United Front (CUF), Tanzania Labour Party (TLP), Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) and NCCR- Mageuzi) tried to organise a demonstration in Dar es Salaam supporting the opposition in Kenya over the disputed poll results but police in full combat gear stopped it.
The ‘Southern African Network of Human Rights NGOs’ (SAHRINGON) applauded President Kikwete for not rushing to congratulate Mwai Kibaki who was sworn in as Kenya President immediately after the election results were announced – Majira.