Kirubi snubs invite to meet Obama

Chris Kirubi is the Chairman, Capital Group Limited

Chris Kirubi is the Chairman, Capital Group Limited

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 25 – Businessman Chris Kirubi has turned down an invitation to meet with US President Barack Obama during his tour of Tanzania next week.

Kirubi who is also the Chairman of Capital Group Limited has been invited to be part of the business audience for the US President at the Hyatt Regency in Dar es Salaam on Monday.

However, the astute businessman has declined the invitation owing to the fact that Obama has once again snubbed Kenya in his three-nation African tour.

Speaking to journalists in his office on Tuesday, Kirubi said Kenyans should not take the matter lightly as this may create a negative image of Kenya to the world.

“I better be among the Kenyans who would rather say, ‘come home we meet you at home rather than in another person’s land’. I changed my mind and said I will not accept the invitation to go to Dar es Salaam,” he said.

Kirubi argued that ICC cases facing President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Rutoshould not be substantial reasons for Obama to skip Kenya as the duo have not been found guilty by the court.

“Kenyans must understand the implications. It’s not a very simple issue; it’s very serious. The fact that his roots are Kenyan, but he is not coming means a lot. He is not a president of a banana republic, he is powerful!” Kirubi told journalists.

“If Barack Obama visited Kenya, we would feature in every single media in the world. That promotion of a destination alone, we can never afford to pay for it. And Tanzania is now getting that opportunity,“ he lamented.

Stephen Hayes, the President and CEO of Corporate Council on Africa who sent out the invite to Kirubi said Obama will give remarks on trade and investment between the United States and Africa and will also speak on East Africa business relations.

The business audience will be limited to specific regional business leaders.

Before the address, the president will have a closed meeting with about 25 carefully selected American and African CEOs.

Obama leaves Washington on Wednesday June 26, on the first leg of a three nation tour meant to emphasize economic potential and democratic development, in east, south and western sub Saharan Africa.

He will first stop in Senegal, where he will meet President Macky Sall and pay an emotive visit to Goree Island and a museum and memorial to Africans caught up in the slave trade.

Then he will move onto Johannesburg, South Africa on Sunday 30 and the next day in Pretoriato hold talks and a press conference with President Jacob Zuma.

Obama will stay overnight in Johannesburg and Cape Town during his trip, and plans to visit Robben Island, where Mandela was once imprisoned.

The final leg of Obama’s journey will take him to Tanzania, where his program includes talks and a press conference with President Jakaya Kikwete and a visit to the Ubungo power plant.

Obama will also lay a wreath at a memorial for 11 people killed in the US embassy bombing in 1998.



Margaret has been a business reporter for the past four years. She holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Communications and Public Relations from Moi University. She also holds a diploma in Film and Video production from the Kenya institute of Mass Communications. Apart from journalism, she has interest in community work, especially helping the disadvantaged.

  • Richard Mugeke

    You, sir, are one hell of a special chap! It surely takes a special person to ignore a chance to meet the most powerful man in the world. Last time you met him, he wasn’t that special. Not quite sure what to think of this.

  • Carey

    The choice is yours…but you ain’t doing it in solidarity with us,Kenya is not on trial at the ICC the reason for being snubbed!

    • Samn Iraki

      If Kenya is not on trial, then all the more reason he shud have visited his homeland.

      • Carey

        Choices have consequences….accept and move on!

    • JeffM

      Copy and paste or multiple accounts. Shindwe.

    • Gathii

      Good argument. Now try convince this to Obama.

      • Carey

        These are the consequences (and you were told)…..i bet he has a choice of where he wishes to go…the grandma ain’t complaining…how come it sounds like it hurts so much…..conclusion Obama needs no convincing…we accept and move on!

        • Gathii

          Yeah, and Kirubi has a choice of where he wishes to go too…choices have consequences!

  • Samn Iraki

    True Patriot!!!!

    • Lawi003

      Just a typical tribal. He once ran down uchumi. Noone will miss him in that meeting I assure you

  • ted

    That’s you choice .as for me life continues

  • Ajwang Gogni

    The choice is yours…but you ain’t doing it in solidarity with us,Kenya is not on trial at the ICC the reason for being snubbed!…. impunity is the order of the day “Mt . Kenya Mafia’s”

    • Sammy

      Thank him instead. That was a very bold move given that he is snobbing the US president. Many Luos would have died to meet him

      • Msemakweli

        Luos, Luos and more LUOS. They are like the Kenyan jews. nothing can be said without mentioning them. Life is NEVER complete without mentioning LUOS!!! Try saying it again???….LUOS, slowly now L..U..O..S…!!!……..feels good right??? LLUUOOSS!!!!

        • ndibo

          @Ajwang this is double standards being exhibited by the US or you have forgotten what bush did?

        • Sammy

          Obama is demi-god to Luos and that’s why I mentioned the name. No ill was intended.

          • marloow

            Sure Obama is a “demi-god to Luos”…your objective double-blind survey of ALL Luos allowed you to draw that conclusion…
            Dude…it must be killing you and your ilk that (a) someone of Luo-descent made it to the White House before making it to the State House (b) he, Obama, is snubbing “prince Uhuru” and son of King Jomo…and (c) USA, the country this son of a Luo father presides over, is supporting the ICC charges brought against ‘jamba” UK…too funny…

          • Sammy

            you get me wrong, off course I hate the tribe. we are a tribal nation.

  • marloow

    People…Mr. Kirubi is ONE of several business personalities invited to meet with Mr. Obama. If he chooses to skip it….the organizers will adjust the seating arrangement to omit 1…
    Chris is taking a stand… to make a point…just as the White House was making a point by skipping a visit to Kenya…

  • wangui

    Obama wasnt coming to visit Uhuru and Rutto… we are 40millon Kenyans! … Where does the issue of ICC come in? He would have gone to visit his grandma, in Kogelo… Anywho choices have consequences, donge? Kudos Kirubi..

    • Mrembo

      And who tells you his grandma doesn’t visit him in DC?

    • Gathii

      True that. Obama makes it sound like he needs permission from Uhuru and Ruto to visit his grandmother in Kogelo!

      • Carey

        It hurts so much …..granny isn’t complaining!

        • Gathii

          Sorry for the hurt, be strong….maybe tomorrow will bring better fortunes!

  • shiro

    Good move….Obama will need Kenyans after leaving white house but it will be too late!

    • Eyerotic

      Why would Obama EVER need Kenyans?? He has never needed us….why now…why then? All this talk about hi Kenyan roots was just a campaign strategy.

  • Mrembo

    You will not be missed Mr. Kirubi like someone said below the organisers will just readjust the seating arrangement. As for me I cannot and refuse to be loyal to this useless country where mpigs, druglords and hoodlums rule the day

  • Wuod Jajuok

    Well done man. like Chris for your very apt backhand complement to this spoilt brat called obama. It is in very bad taste and lack of manners for a man to refuse to visit his fatherland to at least greet his grandmother and instead ask his people to see him in a neighbour,s house. Some people have much growing up to do!

    • ObieK

      The CJ has accepted the invite, so Kirubi should have done likewise. This is international relations, as opposed to the local political relations we have come to know in Kenya.

      • ndibo

        obiek wewe ni fala ile mbaya
        ukienda tanzania kumeet obama(i have a feeling you will go) pliz stay there with people who match your iq

        • ObieK

          Hakuna haja ya matusi na madharau. Kama huna chakusema nyamaa.

        • Carey

          why are the consequences of our choices hurting!

  • Supreme

    IMO, You’re a fool for passing on this opportunity…

    Personally, I wouldn’t pass an opportunity to meet the first AFRICAN American president. Dumb move man. You’re not the one standing trial.

    • ObieK

      Will his absence be felt?

      • Supreme

        Kirubi’s? No. Won’t even change the value of the shilling or the price of bread. Nkt.

      • Naturalsceptic

        It is his principles that matter. From his explanation, it is nice to see someone siding with the unemployed after the Mpigs and their taxes on food. Even Mandela had to wait 27 years for the impact of his principaled stance to be acknowledged by the western world – he was only taken off the US terrorism list in 2008.

    • william njogu

      you are just another fool who carries an American flag when attending Raila’s campaign rally.

      • Carey

        Why insult here…you could carry the Chinese one if you so wished!

    • MajorT

      Who says Obama’s absence will be missed? Dear Kenyans complaining about issues that will not effect and affect their daily lives. Lets build our own and throw away this mentality of “everything we do has to be validated” somewhere outside our nation.

  • ocin

    good move, but its like trying to make noise in a very noisy factory. No one will hear you and everything will be business as usual in the factory

    • MajorT

      Make sense of your rhetoric. We heard him and that’s we make comments lest we obliviate.

  • ndibo

    comments from the retards are very intresting

  • MajorT

    Good move Mr. Kirubi, now CJ Mutunga ought to follow.

  • patriot

    President Obama has no clue who Kirubi is and will meet those who will be there. In Kenya where tribalism is a national and dangerous religion we understand what is eating some people. That is their problem. Obama surely has no interest in that.

  • Obash

    Kirubi is right and also wrong. Right because it does hurt that the most powerful man on earth who has kenyan blood has snubbed us. I do not with to go into the possible reasons. Naturally, it is annoying for Kenya to miss the limeligh as Kirubi rightly points out. Unlike those who are cheating themselves here that it does not matter, Kirubi makes it clear it matters greatly. Is this one of the “choices have consequences” scenario? On the other hand, I wish Kirubi would have expressed his disappointment but still attend. Despite the political score he gets for standing by Jubilee on this matter (as I said he is right on this), there is also a missed opportunity. Those who will attend from all over East Africa (minus Kenya, since Kirubi has declined) will be putting to Obama directly their concerns about business relations between their countries and USA. Perhaps Kenya does not need such opportunities after all.

  • Carey

    I thought choices had consequences…we accept and move on Gathii

  • peter

    I hope its not only Kirubi that has done this, I urge all Kenyan businessmen or business women invited to follow the same path and make a point. Its unfair to Kenyans as this is a case of individuals with ICC cases not Kenya.

  • marloow

    for people who are supposedly jubilant that their sons won the presidency of a recently-categorized “failed state”….the hand-wringing over the fact that Obama is not coming to Kenya thus lending the gravitas of his office to people charged with crimes against humanity is too funny…
    even someone as “smart and astute” as Mr. Kirubi has fallen into that trap.
    It must be killing you and your ilk that (a) someone of Luo-descent made it to the White House before making it to the State House (b) he, Obama, is snubbing “prince Uhuru” and son of King Jomo…and (c) USA, the country this son of a Luo father presides over, is supporting the ICC charges brought against ‘jamba” UK…too funny…
    get over it and move on…..