A social media post by Rwandese President Paul Kagame has elicited mixed reactions online after he appeared to snub Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua.
Kagame had shared a photo on social media where he recapped events from the 60th Anniversary of the Zanzibar Revolution Celebrations held in Tanzania on Friday.
Ironically, in the photo, Kagame was pictured sitting between Gachagua and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. However, while Kagame recognised leaders who attended the meeting in the caption, there was no mention of Kenya’s second in command.
Kagame only recognised the presence of Zanzibar’s leader Hussein Ali Mwinyi, and Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu, while all other regional leaders were bundled into the ‘others’ category.
Zanzibar President Hussein Mwinyi waving at the crowd during the 60th Anniversary celebration of the Zanzibar Revolution held in Zanzibar on January 12, 2024
“Today at Amaan Stadium, President Kagame is participating in the 60th Anniversary of the Zanzibar Revolution celebrations, joining H.E. Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi, President of Zanzibar and Chairman of the Revolutionary Council, H.E. Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of Tanzania and other leaders from the region,” Kagame noted.
“As Africans, this is proof that we are capable of coming together to solve our own problems, harnessing opportunities that come with that,” he added.
The post quickly attracted the attention of observers who questioned whether this was a mistake and why Gachagua had not been recognised.
“You didn’t mention Museveni and the Deputy President of Kenya,” questioned an online user.
“Other leaders” and he is just next to you surely?” Another commented.
Gachagua was invited to the event to represent President William Ruto who for the past week, has been in the Rift Valley where he has held a series of official meetings, launched development projects, and engaged Kenyans on the government’s agenda.
The Deputy President was accompanied by Pastor Dorcas Rigathi, MPs Owen Baya (Kilifi North) Michael Muchira (Ol Jororok), Letipila Eli (Samburu North), Rachel Nyamai (Kitui South), Joseph Cherorot (Kipkelion East), Jane Njeri (Kirinyaga ) and Cynthia Muge (Nandi).
It is possible that Ruto might have communicated his inability to attend the Zanzibar event, prompting the government to dispatch Gachagua in his capacity as the country’s second in command.
Gachagua jetted back to Kenya on Friday night.
“This evening, I left Zanzibar City after a successful 60th Anniversary celebration of the Zanzibar Revolution. The celebration also offered us an opportunity to interact and share in matters of common interest with Heads of State and Government and other leaders,” Gachagua noted.
“On behalf of President William Ruto and the People of Kenya, I thank President Samia Suluhu of the United Republic of Tanzania and President Hussein Mwinyi of Zanzibar for hosting us.”
Meanwhile, Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu did not mention the names of any leaders who graced the event in her social media recap posted at the time of publishing this article.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua greeting a section of leaders at the 60th Anniversary celebration of the Zanzibar Revolution on January 12, 2024