South African Minister Refers to Raila as President, Uhuru Reacts

June 2, 2021

President Uhuru Kenyatta was as amused as the crowd that attended Madaraka Day celebrations after a South African Minister referred to Raila Odinga as President.

On Tuesday, Lindiwe Sisulu, South Africa’s Minister of Human Settlements, Water, and Sanitation, was among the foreign dignitaries during the celebrations at the Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium.

Sisulu, who was married to the deceased Kenyan-born Professor Rok Ajulu, was a guest of Raila Odinga and his wife Ida Odinga.

During her speech, Sisulu erroneously referred to Odinga as a president before quickly correcting herself.

I would like to thank my brothers in struggle President Raila Odinga (crowd shouts)…Prime Minister Raila Odinga, President Uhuru Kenyatta for the joy they have given my president, Cyril Ramaphosa, to be represented on this day in Kisumu,” she said.

An amused President Uhuru turned to Minister Sisulu laughing as the crowd continued to cheer.

President Kenyatta later referenced Sisulu’s slip of the tongue saying the Minister was wishing Raila Odinga well in his political endeavors.

Inaonakana shemaji wenu anawatakia makubwa. Hiyo mmesikia nyinyi wenyewe,” Uhuru joked.

On Sunday, Sisulu had accompanied President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila to Siaya County where they launched the Sh2.4 billion Siaya-Bondo Water and Sanitation Project.

Her deceased husband, Prof Ajulu was an advisor to Raila’s father, the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga. Prof Ajulu also became Raila’s advisor before he relocated to South Africa.

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