Kenya has 'no problem' with Trump racist remarks

Thursday January 18 2018

Kenyan government spokesperson Mr Eric Kiraithe at a press conference in Nairobi on January 18, 2018. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By The EastAfrican

Kenya says it has no problem with the obscene word used by US President Donald Trump to describe African countries and Haiti.

The government spokesperson Mr Eric Kiraithe on Thursday told journalists that the remark by President Trump was not necessarily directed at Kenya.

“The statement was not an official matter that, say, is related to the relationship with the government. We enjoy a cordial relationship,” he said.

But he added that: “We are studying the context in which these statements were made and see whether it is worth the attention.”

Mr Kiraithe further said Kenya supports the statement made by the African Union condemning Mr Trump's comments.

The Kenyan government statement is the first official response since the US president was reported to have termed Africa as "shithole countries".


Last week, opposition National Super Alliance leader Raila Odinga, wading into the debate said the comment was “disparaging troubling and greatly unfortunate”.

“The remarks are deeply hypocritical as they conveniently ignore the fact that US corporations have set up tents in the same African countries that President Trump is disparaging and are making billions of dollars that they repatriate back to the US,” said Mr Odinga.

Leaders from across the world including from the US President's party voiced their condemnations with many accusing him of racism.

Some African nations like Botswana, South Africa and Nigeria summoned US ambassadors in their countries over the remarks.

President Trump, in a meeting with US lawmakers in White House is reported to have dismissed Haiti, El Salvador and Africa as “shithole countries” whose inhabitants are not desirable to immigrate to the US.

But Mr Trump has denied using the vulgar term, tweeting: "The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used."

The African Union chairperson Moussa Faki last week said he was alarmed by the comments.

“Considering the historical reality of how many Africans arrived in the US during the Atlantic slave trade, this flies in the face of all accepted behaviour and practice,” he said through his spokesperson Ebba Kalondo.

-Reported by Silas Apollo.