After heavy suffering under President Magufuli, Kenyans are waiting with great anticipation to see the outcome of the bilateral agreements with Tanzania after President Samia Suluhu came for a two-day visit.
After taking power following the death of Magufuli, Suluhu has been sending positive messages in the region but it was instructive that her first visit outside Tanzania was to Uganda where trade deals were signed.
Discussions regarding a pipeline construction deal from the Indian ocean coast of Tanzania to mainland Uganda was a key plank of Suluhu’s meeting with President Yoweri Museveni among others.
Despite making telephone calls publicly to President Uhuru, donating ornamental birds – peacocks, and showing good demeanor Kenyans in Tanzania continued to suffer discrimination, deportations and general harrassments under Magufuli.
It is for this reason they are eagerly waiting to see the outcome of the visit after Samia arrived in Kenya on Tuesday morning.
The most famous are incidents where Masai cattle that strayed to Tanzania were auctioned and days old chicks were also destroyed by authorities.
But the most dramatic was the one where a local television station was forced to apologise to Magufuli daily for a couple of weeks after they crossed his path.
Magufuli’s style of leadership and instant justice delivered on spot against government officers and contractors won him many admirers as well as critics.
His edicts, statements and actions captured on video would go viral instantly and memes would make him a popular leader in the East African region.
However it was his stand on the Covid-19 pandemic that shocked the world and his insistence on traditional cure and banning the use of masks.
It therefore came as a relief when his deputy rose to be president said she would review the government’s policy regarding Covid-19 and started wearing masks herself.
When she arrived in Nairobi early Tuesday morning Suluhu and her entire crew were donning masks a clear departure from her predecessor.