31 July 2018

Kenya: I'm Sorry, Najib Balala Tells Kenyans, Uhuru Kenyatta

Photo: Daily Nation
Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala supervises translocation of black rhinos from Nairobi National Park to Tsavo East National Park on June 26, 2018.

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has apologised to Kenyans over the "go-to-hell" remarks he made while responding to calls to resign over death of 11 black rhino at Tsavo East National Park.

Mr Balala on Tuesday told the National Assembly committee on Environment that he was emotional when he made the remarks in Mombasa on Monday.

He said he also regretted dragging the name of President Uhuru Kenyatta into the rant that sparked national outrage.

The CS who was grilled by MPs over the deaths, said he felt emotional after his officers let him down by not preventing the death of Rhinos.

"As a human being I have emotions but I have a lot of respect to Kenyans and I regret and apologise over the remarks," Mr Balala said.

"It's unfortunate that I dragged the name of the President in the process of the outbursts. As much as I'm answerable to the appointing authority, I do that through the people of Kenyans who give power," Mr Balala said.

The CS said he has suffered character assassination in social media since the rhinos died after drinking saline water.

"There are few people who have written bad things about me in social media despite my sustained explanation of the whole thing," Mr Balala said.

The committee chairman Kareke Mbiuki told the CS the comments were irresponsible and should not have come from a leader of his stature.

"The country is on fire over the remarks you made and in as much as we have freedom of speech, we must be sensitive," Mr Mbiuki said.

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