Deputy President William Ruto claims he was misquoted when he suggested the Democratic Republic of Congo lacked cows.
Ruto told the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) on Thursday that what he meant to say was that Kenyans enjoy Congolese music and that the country may be a potential market for Kenyan milk.
The United Democratic Alliance (UDA) presidential flagbearer told the businessmen that it was just but a slip of the tongue.
“I was misquoted. I was saying we enjoy their music and they can be our market,” Ruto said.
Last month, the DP told the electorate in Nyeri that DRC rears no cows, alluding to inadequate milk supply in the country.
“We have a market in DR Congo… these people who are singers… These people have a population of about 90 million but they don’t own any cow,” said the presidential hopeful.
The second-in-command’s remarks sparked controversy with Congolese Senator, Francine Muyumba Nkanga, criticizing him for insulting the people of DRC.
“Mr. Vice President @WilliamsRuto, 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, @EquityBCDC is currently making money in Congo, this is an insult,” she tweeted.
A delegation from the DP’s office led by Ababu Namwamba, the Head of International Relations at the WSR Presidential Campaign, addressed the matter with officials at the DRC Embassy in Nairobi.
The delegation, met DRC Head of Missions Madam Malenga Omoy Charlotte. Also present was Korir Sing’oei, the legal advisor in the Office of the Deputy President.
Charlotte, the DP’s head of communication Hussein Mohamed indicated, assured Namwamba that there is no cause for alarm over a purported diplomatic row with Kinshasa.
“DRC Head of Missions Madam Malenga Omoy Charlotte has assured that our bilateral relations remain intact and that the existing formal diplomatic channels of communication take precedence,” Mohamed tweeted.
“We both agree that cordial sister countries always leave room for engagement through formal diplomatic channels in the face of any issues.”