Kalonzo Musyoka sat next to Cord leader Moses Wetang’ula and Anyang’ Nyong’o yesterday at a press conference held at the Serena Hotel in central Nairobi, carried live on television, at which Cord leaders were to give their judgment on one year of the Jubilee administration. Former VP Musyoka was asked by a journalist what alternative solutions he had for rectifying the failures of the governing Jubilee Coalition.
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
The journalist’s name is Kennedy Mureithi and this is how the exchange went:
Mureithi: “All you are saying is what is wrong with the government, you are not providing alternative leadership as Cord. You are not saying this is wrong. This is how it should be done.”
Musyoka: “You know, young man, you are entitled to asking, first I don’t even know your name.”
Mureithi: “My name is Kennedy Mureithi from Nation Media Group.”
Musyoka: “Thank you Mureithi, that name betrays it all, I have nothing else to say. Absolutely, I have nothing to say.”
SOMEONE TELL KALONZO MUSYOKA
It didn’t take many minutes for the phrase “Someone Tell Kalonzo Musyoka” to be trending on social media.
Later on during the press conference, Musyoka was asked why he had reacted the way that he did to the question from Kennedy Mureithi. He replied: “I am sorry if I am wrong. We can do this over tea.”
As the furore built up on Twitter, Mr Musyoka issued this statement:
“I in no way intended to neither demean the young man, nor do I harbor any animosity toward him. To the contrary I have tirelessly worked for cohesion in this country and in my lifetime supported many leaders from various communities to include the Kalenjin, Luo, Kikuyu, Coast and this is common knowledge.”
There were calls for Kalonzo Musyoka to apologise to Mr Mureithi, which according Musyoka quoted in The Star he duly did.
“I did have tea with Mureithi and duly apologized for any hurt my remark would have caused”, Musyoka was reported as stating. “Indeed it was with a light touch but I wish to apologise to him, the entire journalistic fraternity and anybody else who might feel the comments were offensive”.
However, Mr Mureithi tweeted that he had not had tea with the former VP and had received no apology, whereupon Musyoka released a photograph of himself and Mureithi.
Aside from whether an apology has been proffered or not, the Kenya Forum is once again just staggered at the arrogance of some of our politicians. To arrange a press conference and then refuse to answer a question from a journalist because of his name (for which also read ‘tribe’) is outrageous.