Ruto on CNN: Kenyans Wonder Why Arab Leaders are Not Asked About LGBTQ Rights

September 8, 2022

President-elect William Ruto on Wednesday night appeared on CNN in a pre-recorded interview.

The current Deputy President sat down with Christiane Amanpour to discuss among other things his election to the top seat in the country.

Asked whether President Uhuru Kenyatta has congratulated him, Ruto said that had not happened, but reiterated that his support for Uhuru in 2013 and 2017 was not on condition of reciprocal support in 2022.

“Unfortunately, President Kenyatta has not seen it fit to congratulate me,” he said. “Maybe he’s a bit disillusioned or maybe he’s unhappy that I defeated his candidate, but that is the nature of politics.”

As has become tradition with CNN and other Western media whenever they interview an African leader, the question of LGBT rights came up.

Like his boss before him, Ruto downplayed the issue, saying that Kenyans have more pertinent problems right now, and LGBTQ rights are not some of them.

The president-elect was first reminded of his past statement that Kenya has no room for homosexuality. He told Amanpour that Kenya has its own customs and traditions, and that they respect other people’s customs but also expect ours to be respected.

Asked whether his administration will crack down on the LGBTQ community, he said, “We do not want to create a mountain out of a molehill. This is not a big issue for the people of Kenya. When it becomes a big issue, the people of Kenya will make a choice. We are grappling with 5 million young people who have no jobs, 4 million people who are hungry.. that is the concern of Kenyans at the moment. When the issue about the rights of LBGT will come, the people of Kenya will make a choice and we will respect that choice.”

Here’s that clip.

Following that interview, there were some legitimate queries by Kenyans and other Africans on why only leaders from this continent are asked about the LGBT rights issue, when the same is far much worse in Arab countries.

Here are some reactions.


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