Tanzania’s President, Samia Suluhu Hassan on Wednesday told Kenyan parliamentarians that she was privileged to make her first state visit in the country.
Speaking in a joint parliamentary address, Suluhu said that this was her first official visit as a head of state since she took over from the late president John Pombe Magufuli.
She dismissed her earlier visit to Uganda on April 11, saying that she went there for business talks and not an official state visit.
“It will be historical that Kenya was the first country for the sixth president of Tanzania to pay a state visit. I was in Uganda to sign a deal but my official state visit is to Kenya,” she said.
Suluhu explained 4 reasons to the MPs on why she chose Kenya as her first destination.
The first reason was that as a new president in the region, it is necessary for her to introduce herself to neighbors.
“I have started familiarizing myself with neighbours, and I have started with Kenya, which is sisterly. I got many invites but I chose to start with here,” Suluhu told parliamentarians.
She also stated that she chose Kenya because of the blood ties between the Citizens of the two countries. Suluhu gave examples of common tribes that have members both in Tanzania and Kenya.
“Tanzania borders 8 countries geographically, but many common communities are present in both countries. We cannot be separated.”
Suluhu also added that the two countries have been under the same Umbrella historically during the colonial ruling.
The Tanzanian president also cited geographical borders as the reason why she chose Kenya as her first stop. She said that the two countries not only share land and ocean boundaries, but also wildlife co-existence among them
Suluhu gave an example of the wildbeast migration that takes place between the two countries.