“The world is a village,” goes the adage and so we lost our former East African Community with much pain and welcomed its return decades later with a lot of joy and expectation.
But such political and economic affiliations are never without hiccups and bottlenecks.
If it is not arguments about tariffs and taxes it is about work permits or free movement of people.
The latest spat between Kenya and Tanzania is a case in point. Tanzania is said to have auctioned 1400 cattle belonging to Kenyan herdsmen who had crossed into her territory.
Breathing fire, president John Magufuli of Tanzania has said that he will take similar action should Kenyan cattle stray again into Tanzania. Indeed he has dared Kenyan authorities to take retaliatory action and sell off any cattle from Tanzanian herders found inside Kenyan territory.
Such tough talk and bellicose attitude is not envisaged in the spirit that forms the community. Unions like these are based on brotherhood and fraternity, not tough retaliatory action.
Kenyan minister for Foreign Affairs Amina Mohammed has commented that it is common for neighbours to differ as friends must always do. She is optimistic that some compensation will come through from our Tanzanian brothers.
Borders everywhere in the world are porous and not very easy to police. Unless one is talking of the Berlin Wall (which naturally came down), it is common for families, neighbours and friends to visit each other and help one another across the border.
It is our hope that this episode will not be another unnecessary strain to our otherwise cordial bonds of oneness.
May grace prevail as we appreciate the undeniable reality that staying together in such a union comes with obvious sacrifices.