Deputy President William Ruto has defended himself after the no cows’ in DRC remarks emerged online, saying his speech was "informal".
Ruto trended on Twitter for the better part of Tuesday evening after remarks he made at a past event surfaced online when one of the DRC senators, Francine Muyumba, lambasted him over the remarks he made about the central African nation.
Through his official communication pointman, Hussein Mohamed, the Deputy President has said that he used the phrase to put emphasis on the size of the opportunity to a local audience.
“My speech was informal, and my use of certain effects was purely to underscore the magnitude of the opportunity and the urgency of the moment to a local audience. It was not intended to be disrespectful in any way,” Hussein’s statement read in part.
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Then added, “I regret any misunderstanding that may have arisen on account of my speech, and take this opportunity to assure the government and people of the DRC of my profound admiration and high regard”.
— Hussein Mohamed, MBS. (@HusseinMohamedg) February 16, 2022
Hussein also confirmed that the DP made the remarks on Monday, where he was addressing dairy producers on the existing demand by the DRC.
Minutes before his statement, ODM party leader Raila Odinga had asked him to apologise for saying DRC has no cow, adding that his sentiments on DRC could spark a diplomatic tiff that is not good for Kenya.
“Ruto’s attack on DRC is a manifestation of a reckless lack of vision and foresight; a pathetic failure to see where opportunities abound for Kenya, DRC produces,” Raila said
Prior to that, Kenyan Ambassador to DRC George Masafu said the DP’s remarks attracted negative reactions among the business community in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In a letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Nairobi on February 16, Masafu said that the embassy had communicated to the Omamo-led ministry about the effects of the Deputy President’s remarks.
“The embassy reassures the government and people of DRC that the government of Kenya will continue encouraging the citizens of partnerships especially at this historic moment when the DRC prepares to join the East African Community,” the letter read in part.