By George Kalisa
Authorities from Tanzania and Rwanda on May15 agreed to remove the struck drivers’ swapping plan which Tanzanian truck drivers protested leading to hard pinch of the two economies.
To further mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus in Rwanda and in the region, Rwandan authorities had suggested to their Tanzanian counterparts to have Rwandan drivers transport the cargo from Tanzania from the Rusumo border point.
The number of Tanzanian truck drivers that test positive for COVID-19 on the Rwandan territory was increasing, yet they were coming to a country that is indifferent to the pandemic. Tanzania has not yet ordered a lockdown in spite of having recorded the highest number of death in the region.
East African Community’s second largest economy has recorded 509 coronavirus cases, 21 deaths and 183 recoveries.
Tanzania is currently the biggest trading partner of Rwanda in the region providing entry to a huge proportion of Rwanda’s imports plus others destined for the markets in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
This reciprocal economic dependence between the two countries made the outcome of their bilateral meeting be widely speculated.
“The United Republic of Tanzania and the Republic of Rwanda agreed to remove the proposed swapping of drivers at Rusumo border with immediate effect. Goods entering Rwanda will be offloaded or transshipped at entry point, except for trucks carrying perishable goods, and petroleum products destined to Rwanda, which will be allowed to operate from 06:00hrs to 18:00hrs (local time) and will be escorted at no cost to their destinations,” said the statement.