Carrot wants to build bridges between Kenya and Tanzania, but Tanzania would have none of it.

Tanzania has therefore gone ahead to place a blanket ban on the importation of carrots from Kenya.

Tanzania says it is only trying to protect its industries. But Kenya doesn’t see it that way.

The ban has aggravated the cross-border trade wars between the two countries.

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Tanzania’s newly appointed Arumeru District Commissioner Jerry Muro was the one who announced the ban.

“During the harvesting period, carrots are imported from the neighbouring country, but by the power I have been given by the president, not a single carrot will be imported into the district,” Mr Muro told Arumeru residents.

He said that he and all carrot farmers would stand along the Arusha-Moshi Highway to inspect all lorries to ensure middlemen do not import a single carrot from Kenya.

In 2011, the five East African Community partner states signed a comprehensive Common Market Protocol, officially binding themselves to open their borders for free movement of goods, labour and capital across the region.

However, the latest move brings into question Tanzania’s commitment to open its borders for cross-border trade as required by the EAC Common Market Protocol.

“This is a form of non-tariff barrier,” said the East African Business Council Trade and Policy advisor, Adrian Njau.

“Decisions made at the EAC’s higher level organs have not been communicated to grassroots leaders,” said lecturer, Gasper Mpehongwa.

“Today they will ban carrots from Kenya, next time Kenya will ban carrots from Tanzania,” he added, cautioning that ordinary East Africans were the victims of such decisions.

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