Tuesday, September 19, 2023 – Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has defended himself from a barrage of criticism from Kenyans questioning why he lied to the world that Kenya had tigers across its expansive wildlife reserves. 

Speaking during the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Pan-African Conference at a Nairobi Hotel, Gachagua attributed the gaffe to his native Kikuyu language. 

He humorously clarified that he had actually meant to refer to leopards, as the Kikuyu community, often uses the same word to refer to the two wild animals.

“Some of us when we are speaking, think in our mother tongue and then translate it to English. So in Kikuyu land where I come from, the leopard and tiger are one and the same,” he stated.

Gachagua made the remarks during his working tour of Colombia on Friday, last week. 

During a meeting with political and business leaders from the South American nation, the Deputy President humoured the foreigners by describing Kenya’s vibrant Tourism and Wildlife sector in a cheeky way. 

The second in command also welcomed them to visit Kenya and see tigers and other wild animals across various national parks.

However, his remarks did not sit well with Kenyans who questioned his knowledge of the country’s tourism sector.

A large section of Kenyans remarked that his comments were not factual and did not represent the true picture on the ground.


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