Tanzanian President John Magufuli yesterday officially opened Kigamboni Bridge, East Africa’s first cable-stayed bridge or as normal people call it – suspension bridge.
It was a great moment of pride for their country and rightly so as the piece of infrastructure will make life easier and improve business in Dar es Salaam.
On Monday, we published an article on the bridge opening.
It received well over 100,000 hits with most of them from Tanzania. What followed was a bunch of sarcastic social media posts from Kenyans proclaiming the bridge to be in Kenya.
It seems Tanzania’s leadership took notice.
While unveiling the Kigamboni Bridge, now named Nyerere Bridge, President Magufuli just came short of calling Kenyans thieves.
“This is the only bridge of its kind in East and Central Africa. Go to Uganda, Kenya, DRC, there’s no bridge like this one,” he said.
“And that’s why those who think everything good is in their country have started writing. They said Mt. Kilimanjaro is theirs, Olduvai gorge etc.” he said, referring to a few isolated cases of Kenyans who have been ‘stealing’ their natural resources and lying to the world about it.
Raila Odinga’s daughter Rosemary Odinga was recently under fire from the Tanzanians for claiming Olduvai gorge is in Kenya at an international forum. Ironically, the Odingas’ are very close to the Magufulis’.
While most tweets from Kenyans about Kigamboni bridge were sarcastic or satirical, Tanzanians did not see it that way. They believed this was a coordinated effort to steal their shine and glory, like we’ve always done.
Magufuli’s statement was just a continuation of the rivalry between the two nations in more than a few issues.
Watch him launch the thinly veiled attack on Kenya from around minute 5:20.