NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 28 – President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta has apologised for referring to Supreme Court judges hearing a petition filed against him by Prime Minister Raila Odinga as ‘some six people.’
Kenyatta said he did not mean to disrespect the judges in the casual remarks which have gone viral on social media.
In an apology posted on his Facebook page, Kenyatta admitted that his language may not have been 100 percent correct.
“I met with elected MPs, Women Representatives and Senators from the Jubilee Coalition and made it clear that there are three Arms of Government: Deputy President-Elect, Hon. Ruto and I represent the Executive Arm. I told them that we are ready to get to work; however there is a petition in court over our election – yes, I said it is pending before six guys and we have to await their decision. However, the Legislative Arm of Government must go on and we challenged them together with my Deputy to begin the Jubilee agenda in the National Assembly and in Senate without delay,” Kenyatta said.
He made the remarks while addressing elected Jubilee leaders during a retreat in Naivasha.
In his apology, Kenyatta said he was used to being referred to as ‘kamwana’ (young man) and appreciated that people refer to him fondly that way despite having an official designation as president-elect.
“I am used to being called kamwana (young man) and appreciate that people refer to me fondly as such despite my official designation. The spirit and context in which I made the comments is that we must await the decision of the Supreme Court on the way forward for the Executive arm of Government; but that the other arms especially the legislative (sic) must begin working with immediate effect,” he said.
In the apology, Kenyatta said he made the unfortunate remark while emphasising the need for Parliament to move forward with its work as Kenyans await the outcome of the Supreme Court. The much awaited ruling is set to be issued by Saturday. A six-judge bench led by Chief Justice Willy Mutunga is hearing the petition.
Kenyatta’s apology sparked a volley of reactions from followers on his Facebook page with majority expressing joy for his regret.
“The president-elect has offered an apology and we need to respect that. I did not vote for Uhuru, but it will be unwise for me to start spewing insults on his wall. This man can become the president if the petition is thrown out and he will be the president of all Kenyans. Please some respect to all our leaders, apology accepted, we are all human beings, we wish you well and GOD bless you Mheshimiwa,” Bethuel Odour said in his post.
Those who felt he had erred said his apology reflected a humble leader who is ready to accept mistakes.
“There is power of wisdom and God’s blessings in a leader who acknowledges his mistakes and humbly apologises,” Ronald Yego posted on Kenyatta’s wall.