Foreign affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma on Wednesday delivered a consignment of irregularly imported gold intercepted by Kenyan authorities to Tanzania President John Magufuli. The gold, which originated from Tanzania worth Sh100 million, was nabbed at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport last year. President Uhuru thereafter ordered the goods to be repatriated to the country of origin.
Upon receiving the gold, President Magufuli made a phone call to President Uhuru to confirm the goods had been delivered, while addressing his government officials at a function televised by TBC TV. “Hello bro how are you…I was in a meeting shortly and my phone was not near,” began President Uhuru after picking the call. In what appears to be one of the rarest casual phone conversations between two heads of the states, what followed the conversation painted a picture of two gentlemen far from the shadow of their titles.
President Magufuli after accepting the greetings went on to acknowledge that he had received the gold. “My sister Monica has delivered the goods… I have checked and confirmed it is exact,” responded Magufuli. President Uhuru thereafter expressed his satisfaction that the goods had safely been delivered to Tanzania authorities. He assured his Magufuli of his commitment in ensuring that no illegal business activities, that deprive citizens of their resources, succeed in its operation within the Kenyan border. “…Ours is to ensure we give justice to our citizens by guarding the very resources that will facilitate the development of schools, roads and schools… unscrupulous businessmen have no space in our countries,” said President Uhuru.
The conversation took a hilarious turn when President Magufuli said that the arrival of the goods was a show of transparency in their leadership. He said if leaders lacked integrity they could have shared the consignment between themselves regardless of what the media will report. “President Uhuru is a patriotic citizen who loves Kenyans and Tanzanians. And if I was not the same, Tanzanians wouldn’t have seen these goods. We would have shared them between ourselves secretly… Newspapers will report but we would have already taken the money,” said Magufuli amidst laughter. However, President Magufuli promised to ensure wrongdoers from Kenya seeking asylum in Tanzania are repatriated back to the country.
He requested President Uhuru to pass his congratulatory messages to officers who nabbed the gold and promised a reward. He took a swipe at his officers for failing to detect the illegal cartel and requested President Uhuru to deploy his officers to train their Tanzanian counterpart on how to go about such cases. “This consignment originated from Tanzania but our officers nabbed it… Kenyan security forces are committed to their work …if they have extra knowledge they are using to deal with swindlers let them share with our Tanzanian officers,” he requested. But the conversation could not end without President Magufuli handing the phone to his Vice President to say hi to Uhuru.
Though unexpectedly she rose and had some exchanges with president Uhuru and later handed the Phone back to her boss. But President Magufuli and President Uhuru pulled an unexpected conversation which left the audience in stitches. “Thank you for sending your foreign affairs minister despite being beautiful she is representing Kenyans, said President Magufuli. But President Uhuru quipped: You leave her and allow her to come back home. I will send you another who will…,” responded President Uhuru as his Magufuli and the crowd bursted into laughter. This revealed the growing close relationships between the two heads of states.? The Kenyan CS also handed over Sh15 million that was nabbed together with the gold in February 2018. The cash and the gold were stolen on May 21, 2004, from Tanzania’s NBC bank in Moshi. Attorney General (AG) Paul Kihara, Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti and Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji were also present. A prime suspect Patrick Ayisi Ngoi was arrested in Kenya with the wealth, and was repatriated to Tanzania for prosecution in January this year, officials said.