Kalonzo gaffe draws online criticism

A casual comment to a journalist has made former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka the subject of criticism on social media.

Twitter users watching a live Press conference by the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) chastised Mr Musyoka after he dismissed a journalist saying he has a “betraying” name.

Within minutes, the phrase #SomeoneTellKalonzoMusyoka” was trending on Twitter.

The journalist, Kennedy Murithi who reports for Nation Media Group’s Q-TVhad asked the coalition leader to explain alternative solutions for what they termed as “failures” of the Jubilee Government.

However Mr Musyoka asked the journalist to identify himself after which he declined to answer the question that had been posed to him.


The conversation:

Murithi: “All what you are saying is what is wrong with the government, you are not providing alternative leadership as Cord. You are not saying this is wrong. This is how it should be done.”

Kalonzo Musyoka: “You know young man; you are entitled to asking, first of all I didn’t even get your name.”

Murithi: “My name is Kennedy Murithi from Nation Media Group.”

Kalonzo Musyoka: Thank you Murithi, that name betrays it all, I have nothing else to say. Absolutely, I have nothing to say.”

Later, the reporter confronted the former VP to ask why he responded the way he did to which he said: “I am sorry if I am wrong. We can do this over tea.”

His reply drew laughter from other journalists covering the event.


Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba, who was also at the press conference, maintained that Mr Murithi’s question had already been answered.

Kenyans on Twitter criticised Mr Musyoka’s response to the journalist.

“My tribe determines whether or not I can ask a question in a press briefing?” posed one Daniel Muhuni (@danmuhuni).

“What if he was elected President, which tribe would work under him? Just thinking loud (sic),” said Chris Thairu (@ctnoma).


Others users however said attacking Kalonzo Muyoka over his statement was of no consequence.

“#SomeoneTellKalonzoMusyoka that Kenyan journalists are as tribal as he is. It is unfortunate Kalonzo said that, but look at our media….” said Eugene Wanambisi (‏@wanambisieugene).

Omondi Ouma Snr ‏(@OmondiOumaSnr) added: “Tribalism from all corners must be condemned with the same energy. Condemning @skmusyoka alone changes nothing.#SomeoneTellKalonzoMusyoka”

AndreTheGiant (‏@ObaraBrian) also echoed Ouma’s sentiments saying: “#SomeoneTellKalonzoMusyoka Kenyans are not tribal but all those who show up to vote are. None of them are on Twitter.”

“Kenyans are a funny lot. Jana (yesterday) everybody was crying about #ListentoSouthSudan now that’s forgotten and they are #SomeoneTellKalonzoMusyoka,” said Michael Wonder ‏(@MichaelWonder).

Mr Musyoka later apologised for his comment saying it was on a light touch and not intended to demean or cause animosity.

The journalist however insisted that Mr Kalonzo had not apologised to him.



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