A top Tanzanian official has accused Kenya of economic sabotage and questioned the reliability of Kenya’s coronavirus test kits in an ongoing row over testing at the border.
Nineteen drivers who were turned away by Kenya at the border for testing positive for Covid-19 have tested negative back in Tanzania, a statement from Arusha’s Regional Commissioner Mrisho Mashaka Gambo says.
The statement also gave figures showing a majority of Kenyan truck drivers tested positive for coronavirus in Tanzania.
The Arusha commissioner said that this was a deliberate strategy designed by Kenya to sabotage Tanzania’s tourism industry.
Kenya’s health minister did not give a response to a direct question about the accusations, but the country’s director general for health said Kenyan testing methods at the border were accurate.
Last weekend, Kenya closed its borders with Somalia and Tanzania, allowing through only lorry drivers who test negative for Covid-19.
Tanzania responded by banning all traffic from Kenya and a top official went on to accuse Kenyan lorry drivers of importing the virus to Tanzania.
Some have accused Tanzania of not doing enough to tackle coronavirus.
Unlike Kenya and other countries in the region, it has not imposed any curfews or travel restrictions and has encouraged people to continue going to places of worship.
Tanzania’s President John Magufuli has previously cast doubt on the accuracy of the country’s main laboratory where most coronavirus tests were carried out.
It is not clear where in Tanzania the lorry drivers were tested.