Ruto Succumbs To Pressure, Apologises Over ‘No Cows’ in DRC Remark

William Ruto
Deputy President William Ruto at a past rally [Photo/Courtesy]

Deputy President William Ruto has apologised over his recent remarks on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that has sparked outrage from senior politicians in the country.

The DP on Tuesday claimed DRC rears no cows, alluding to inadequate milk supply in the country. He was speaking in Nyeri county where he promised to streamline the milk sector.

“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,” he said.

But in a press statement on Wednesday night, Ruto said his remarks were not intended to be disrespectful in any way.

“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,” the statement issued by Ruto’s Communications Director Hussein Mohamed read.

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“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.”

Congolese Senator, Francine Muyumba Nkanga, had earlier criticized the DP terming the remarks as an insult to the people of DRC.

“Mr. Vice Preisident @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.

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On Wednesday, Kenya’s ambassador to DRC Dr George Masafu moved in to calm the tensions triggered by the county’s second in command.

The envoy, in a statement to newsrooms, admitted there have been a negative reaction to comments by Ruto further alluding that he was doing everything to avert a diplomatic row.

“The embassy has informed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Nairobi on the negative reactions that the comments have triggered among the business community and general populace in the DRC,” Masafu said.

“The Kenyan embassy wishes to reiterate that the government and the people [of Kenya] share a deep and respectful; historical relationship with the government and the people of DRC. This relationship stretches back to the independence of our respective countries.

“The Embassy reassures the Government and people of the DRC that the Government of Kenya will continue encouraging the citizens of both our countries to continue engaging and building strong partnerships especially at this historic moment when the DRC prepares to join the East African Community.”

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Other politicians in the country including Ruto’s rival in the August race to State House, Raila Odinga, are among leaders, who condemned the utterances.

“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,” said the ODM party leader.

Written by Wycliffe Nyamasege


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