Our neighbours’ actions may harm us

Presidents John Magufuli (Tanzania) and Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya) during the latter's tour of Chato in Tanzania on July 6, 2019. PHOTO | PSCU

It’s been seven weeks since our lives started getting turned upside down by the coronavirus. Every aspect of our lives has been affected since the first Covid-19 case was reported in the country and there’s no end in sight in this battle.

Kenyans and the rest of the world celebrated a quiet Easter and Muslims are celebrating an eerily quiet Ramadhan.

In times of hardship, the country has always looked to God to clear the path and this time is no different. However, with mosques and churches closed, this has become very difficult for many.


In Tanzania and Somalia, however, things are quite different as people in these countries are carrying on with their lives as if the coronavirus is a myth.

Tanzania’s President John Magufuli is encouraging people to go pray in churches and mosques to quell a “satanic” virus that can only be cured by divine intervention. And in Somalia, people still go to pray in mosques.

There’s absolutely no doubt that God will play a role in our solution in the fight against the virus.


Our neighbours’ actions may seem not to have nothing to do with us but in reality, they may be to our detriment.

There have been reports of Kenyans sneaking to Somalia to pray then returning to Kenya. This could be bad for Kenya.

Wajir has reported two positive coronavirus cases that were imported from Somalia. The two were intercepted by security agencies in Diff at the Kenya-Somalia border on their way back to Kenya from a livestock trading trip.


Kenya shares a long, porous border with Somalia and this makes it difficult for security and disease surveillance teams to track all the people who enter East Africa.

Kenya’s border with Tanzania is also worth looking at since there has been a case reported at the Tanga border.

These issues raise concerns and many people are calling for the closure of Kenya’s borders.

While this may seem a good idea, it cannot stop the spread of the coronavirus.
East Africa needs to come up with a coordinated approach in the fight against the virus. It also needs a proactive action plan, such as uniform application of coronavirus lockdown rules across all countries in the region.


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