The National Resistance Movement (NRM) Vice Chairperson, Captain Mike Mukula, has urged President William Ruto to issue an apology or crack down on Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen for making controversial remarks touching on the governance of Rwanda.
Expressing his disappointment, Mukula, a senior official in the party led by Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, argued that Murkomen’s statement terming Rwanda’s leadership as autocratic was not only uncalled for but also undiplomatic.
“The media attack not only risks straining the relationship between our nations but also undermines the trust built over years of collaboration.”
“It is crucial to address this matter promptly to prevent any further damage to the bilateral relations between Kenya and Rwanda,” Mukula stated, warning that the remarks may not sit well with Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame.
President William Ruto with NRM Vice Chairperson Captain Mike Mukula during the COP28 Climate Summit, Dubai on December 1, 2023.
He further emphasised the need to maintain good diplomatic relations between Kenya and Rwanda, adding that open communication was essential to maintain harmony in East Africa.
“It is disheartening to witness such actions that undermine the principles we hold dear,” he added.
Constitutional lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi also condemned Murkomen over his remarks, adding that Cabinet Secretaries (CSs) needed training on basic tenets of the comity of nations.
“CS Murkomen can’t attack a sovereign friendly state without provocation and disparage President Paul Kagame just like that. CSs must be taken through a crash course, teaching them the responsibilities that come with their new constitutional offices!”
Hotelier Mohammed Hersi, commenting on the same, highlighted that Rwanda was doing far better than Kenya and that comparing the sizes of the two countries was irrelevant.
“No police roadblocks like we do in Kenya which is nothing but a bribe collecting tolls. Rwanda deploys cameras both fixed and mobile managed by the incorruptible police force.”
“Fighting corruption yes we can deploy technology but a system is only as good as the people and that is the point where our paths with Rwanda separate,” he noted.
Cabinet Secretary Transport and Roads Kipchumba Murkomen, speaking during an interview at Citizen TV on Monday evening, stated that Rwanda was an autocracy, adding that Kenyans should restrain from comparing the political scenes in the two countries.
“There whatever the President says is the law. For every decision you make in this country you must go through a proposal then Parliament then public participation.”
President William Ruto (left) chatting with Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen (right)
“You cannot compare the political situation in Rwanda and the size of the country with our country and our democracy,” Murkomen stated.
In a rejoinder, Murkomen clarified that he actually admires Rwanda’s style of leadership, which has made it possible for them to build good infrastructure, including a new airport. He further noted that Kenya’s style of leadership is too bureaucratic, which takes the country longer to make simple life-changing decisions.
“It’s not just Rwanda. Countries like UAE, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia, among others have a style of leadership that has delivered great success to their people because their leaders have the power to make firm decisions,” he noted while responding to lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi.
“Instead of you crying about Rwanda please cry for your country. Help us deal with, for example, court orders that award a contractor Ksh 10B for claims and interests for a contract worth Ks 2B or a road that stalls for 10 years because a competing bidder is still waiting a decision of the court. Cry not for Rwanda, they are doing well. Cry for your country,” Murkomen added.