Tanzanian authorities have seized more than 10,000 head of cattle that had strayed into the country from Uganda and Rwanda, a cabinet minister told Parliament on Monday.
The country’s minister for livestock and fisheries, Mr Luhaga Mpina, said the cattle would be auctioned in a similar manner as the ones recently seized on the Tanzania-Kenya border.
The minister made the remarks in Parliament when contributing to discussion on the national development plan for 2018/19. Some MPs had asked the minister what would be done with the stray animals.
The government recently auctioned 1,325 head of cattle owned by Kenyans after the animals strayed into the country.
Mr Mpina accused Ugandan and Rwandan pastoralists of violating Tanzanian law by driving their animals to graze beyond their borders.
But the minister was quick to explain that relations between Tanzania and other East African Community (EAC) member states were stable.
His remarks come a week after the Kenyan government formally protested to Tanzania over what Nairobi terms “a policy shift that condones hostile actions against Kenyan citizens and their business interests”.
Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Political and Diplomatic Secretary Tom Amolo criticised Tanzania’s decision to burn chicks imported from Kenya as well as auction animals from Kenyan herders without involving authorities in Nairobi.
He said such actions risked soiling historical relations between the two countries.
The Kenyan Maasai community also reportedly recently seized at least 4,000 head of cattle from Tanzania, ostensibly in retaliation.
Kajiado County Commissioner Kenya Harsama Kello said he was trying to stop the Kenya’s Maasai community from confiscating cattle from Tanzania as an act of revenge.
Minister Mpina said the Tanzanian government wasn’t aware of the incident.
Kenyan authorities are angry after Tanzania police burnt to death 6,400 one-day-old chicks from Kenya, on suspicion they could spread bird flu.
Tanzania’s regional livestock boss, Obedi Nyasembwa, said the chicks, worth about Sh554,000 (Tsh12 million), were smuggled from Kenya and were a health risk.
The day-old chicks were intercepted last week in Namanga and a Tanzanian businesswoman was arrested.
They were being transported in ventilated wooden boxes. The authorities doused them in petrol then set them ablaze, Mwananchi newspaper reported.
The Kenya Veterinary Association confirmed the incident.
Tanzania banned all poultry imports in 2007 to prop up the domestic. Tanzania’s Mwananchi newspaper quoted police as saying the chicks belonged Mary Matia from Arusha, who has been arrested.
Sources: The Star Kenya/ The Citizen Tanzania