DP William Ruto caused a stir online this week following his remarks that Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC) has no single cow.
DP Ruto made the remarks while addressing dairy farmers in Nyeri on Monday, February 14, suggesting that there is a readily available market for milk in the country and Kenyan farmers would seize the opportunity under his administration.
“I want you to know that Kenya has the highest number of cows in Africa. We get 5 billion liters of milk every year. We can double the amount of liters we produce by managing the cost of animal feeds.
“If we double the production of milk and it doesn’t require rocket science, then sell even just 3 billion liters, we have a market in DRC, they have 90 million people and don’t have a single cow, these people who sing,” DP Ruto said.
In as much as the statement was said on a light note, the Congolese have taken the matter so seriously and consequences of their actions against Kenya are just about to be felt.
First, it was senator Francine Muyumba Nkanga who was irked by the remarks and demanded that DP Ruto apologizes.
“Mr Vice President 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 is an insult,” Muyumba tweeted.
It has however emerged that the Equity Bank is already facing the consequences of the remarks and a boycott on Kenya Airways has also begun in DRC, according to a post that was shared on social media.
“We have notified our colleague who have an account at Equity bank that we will not do anymore transactions with this bank until DRC receives an apology from the government of Kenya,” read a post by Jacques Sebisaho,
DP Ruto has however since tendered his apology, through his Director of his campaigns communication, Hussein Mohamed.
“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 disrespect in any way,” part of the apology read.
The government, through the Kenyan ambassador to Congo, George Masafu, also issued a statement assuring the country a respectful relationship despite DP Ruto’s remarks.
“Kenya is confident that these relations will be entrenched through government to government frameworks and people to people partnerships that have built in the past,” read the statement.