The government of Kenya has formally disowned Deputy President William Ruto’s distasteful remarks against the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) earlier this week.
Through an official letter dated 16th February 2022, Kenya’s envoy to the DRC, Ambassador Dr. George Masafu acknowledged that Ruto’s mockery of the country was in bad taste as it triggered a lot of heavy reactions.
In his statement, Dr Masafu retaliated to the government and the people of DRC that Ruto’s slip of the tongue will not negatively affect the deep and respectful relations that the two nations have shared over the years.
“The Kenyan Embassy reassures the Government and the people of the DRC that the Government of Kenya will continue engaging and building strong partnerships especially at this historic moment when the DRC prepares to join the East African Community,” he noted in part of the letter.
During the forum, he sensationally claimed the country, with a population of 90 million does not have a single cow, forcing it to import its milk.
While explaining his Bottom-Up economic model in Nyeri county on Monday, the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party leader promised that if he is elected president in the upcoming August polls, his administration will enhance investment in livestock keeping so that Kenya can sell its produce to as far as the Democratic Republic of Congo, arguing that the nation does not have enough cows and hence, have to import milk.
“The DRC has 90 million people but do not have a single cow,” he said, adding that it would be the perfect market for Kenyan milk.
He also described the Congolese as “wanavaa long’i kwa tumbo (they put on high-waist trousers)”, and gave an example of Congolese musicians who often appear in music videos wearing high-waist trousers.
Despite Ruto making the remarks more than 4,000km away, it sparked online outrage in Kinshasa, journalists, rights activists, politicians and citizens in DRC describing the comments as a lack of respect.
Among those who publicly aired their disgust was DRC’s Senator Francine Muyumba, angrily maintained it was disrespectful to the Central African country.
“Mr. Vice Preisident William Ruto, this is really unacceptable, with all due respect there is a need to withdraw this statement. If DRC did not have a single cow how could Kenya sign economic deals with DRC. Equity Bank is currently making money in Congo, this an insult,” Muyumba tweeted.
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