By Monica Kobusiinge
On arrival from his aircraft, Museveni stood about two meters away and bowed in respect to Magufuli in form of greeting him.
However, his visit showed a big difference between the two states, with Museveni and all his entourage sticking to putting on masks and ensuring social distance with their hosts.
He also waved to the group of people that had lined up to welcome him, without moving any closer to them.
During the course of the over 2-hours event, Museveni stayed with his mask on, only removing it at the time he was giving his speech and putting it back on immediately.
Magufuli, from the photos, did not wear a mask or maintain social distancing as one of the measures to control the deadly virus since it seemed business as usual according to him.
The two presidents also maintained a huge social distance while seated, unlike the previous meeting they had at the same venue last year.
Also, while all Museveni’s security detail maintained their masks on, none on Magufuli’s team had their masks on.
Speaking about the matter, Magufuli said that he was aware Museveni and his team were coming with masks and that is fine provided the agreement is not delayed.
“Museveni called me and said we have corona but I don’t want it to be the reason to delay the development of Uganda and Tanzania. He told me he is coming with a mask and I said you can even come with a blanket, provided we sign this agreement for the better of all our countries,” Magufuli said.
Despite of all the strictness to safeguarding the COVID-19 SOPs while on visit, upon return from Tanzania, Museveni’s ensured all the staff he was with were tested as they got off the plane and later transported to different ‘’unknown quarantine centres”.
It should be remembered that Tanzania stopped reporting Covid-19 cases on April 29. At the time, the country had recorded 509 infections, 183 recoveries and 21 deaths.
President Magufuli went ahead to declare that the Coronavirus pandemic in Tanzania was officially over, urging the country to resume normal lives without having to put on masks and any other virus related guidelines.
Commenting about the subject of the meeting, Magufuli said that the pipeline project is another victory for both Uganda and Tanzania and it represents the cooperation that both countries are striving for.
“We are going to use Ugandan expertise to search for oil in several regions of Tanzania, when we strike oil, we will simply connect those areas to the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline EACOP. That is the Ugandan & Tanzanian cooperation we are striving for.” said Magufuli.
Museveni on his part said Coronavirus should not be the reason why the two countries could not make a historic agreement as the pipeline deal.
“Covid-19 should not be the reason to stop anything as important as this,” he said.