AS the major Holy Books of Quran and Bible teach us to love our neighbours as we love ourselves, one thing becomes common that you and I cannot chose a person to be your neighbour.
The same Quran further says that it’s unwise to go to bed harbouring a grudge with a neighbour, hence, the best thing is to iron out the difference in amicable way and that is the essence of good neighbourliness and living.
Broadening the concept as human beings in specific geographical boundaries, we call countries or states, we should cherish good neighborliness for the people, especially at the grassroots to do business, mingle and continue with their free movements without being barred by unnecessary bureaucracies and papers, which tend to benefit only few individuals at the helms.
As President Samia Suluhu Hassan travelled to Nairobi, Kenya for a two-day State visit at the invitation of her host Uhuru Kenyatta, this should be an opportunity for the nationals of the two countries to implement ideas advanced by the leaders. Tanzanians want Kenyans and likewise Kenyans want Tanzanians in all spheres of life so that businesses grow; people travel with ease across the borders and those living along the borders enjoy peaceful co-existence.
With Kenya, out of the countries in the East Africa Community providing the major bulk of investors in Tanzania and the latter being the food granary in the region, several business opportunities at the grassroots should spring up after the two leaders’ talks. This should be the basis for the Immigration Departments from the individual countries to revisit their immigration laws to accommodate needs of the people, who would cross the borders in such of new business opportunities or visiting relatives.
The laws should be there to serve the nationals not the people serving the laws. It should be noted that these two countries share brotherly borders, cultures and people, who were once historically living together only to be divided by the colonialists. We should not allow our people to be divided and further called strangers or foreigners, when one visits Tanzania or Kenya just because the colonisers made us believe so.
Our leaders are doing their best to make sure the nationals live in peace and go about their businesses across the borders without meeting any obstacle, hence, should be emulated because this is the essence of good neighborliness. If we resort to asking a Kenyan for business, work and residential permit in Tanzania and a Tanzanian the same in Kenya, in a way we are backpedaling the efforts being made by our leaders in unifying us as one people.
This school of thought should not only remain in papers, but practically practiced on the ground for the common man to see the essence of voting and living in a free Tanzania and Kenya.