Trade CS Moses Kuria issued a public apology following his controversial comments regarding the rising fuel prices in Kenya. This apology comes in the midst of growing pressure over the increasing cost of fuel and concerns about the way government officials interact with the Kenyans.
On September 15th, Kuria ignited a nationwide debate when he suggested that fuel prices were poised to increase in the coming months due to global dynamics.
His remarks, however, did not sit well with many Kenyans who were already struggling with the burden of high fuel costs.
He wrote on twitter, “Dear Kenyans, on Friday, September 15th, I made some comments indicating that the price of fuel is likely to go up in the coming months owing to global dynamics. I have since been advised by people like Dr. Boni Khalwale and his master that the statement was incorrect, insensitive, and arrogant. I am made to now understand that the price will come down. I apologize profusely since to err is human.”
Dear Kenyans. On Friday 15th September I made some comments indicating that the price of fuel is likely to go up in the coming months owing to global dynamics. I have since been advised by people like Dr Boni Khaleale and his master that the statement was incorrect, insensitive…
— CS Moses Kuria (@HonMoses_Kuria) September 19, 2023
Kuria’s apology has brought mixed reactions among the public, with some questioning its sincerity and others wondering about the identity of “Khalwale’s master.”
Many speculate that Kuria’s apology may be linked to recent comments made by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua.
Deputy President Gachagua has been consistently urging state officials to exercise caution in their interactions with citizens and to align their statements with the government’s official position on key matters.
He said, “You do not address your employer with arrogance. Do so with humility and decorum. Kenyans, like the rest of the world, are going through difficult economic times, and leaders should address them with sensitivity and empathy.”
Over the weekend, Gachagua, who had just returned from a business forum in Colombia, expressed concerns about the exchanges between public servants and Kenyan citizens.
He cautioned against arrogance among public officers and stressed the importance of presenting a unified front on issues like fuel prices.
Gachagua also hinted at the possibility of a Cabinet reshuffle, saying, “The President is clear about one thing, this administration is about efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery to the people. The moment any appointee steps out of line or acts in a manner that is inconsistent with this mantra, it is not beyond the President to make changes in senior ranks of the Executive. At an appropriate time and in his wisdom, the President could make such changes.”
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As Kenyans continue to grapple with the high cost of fuel, the statements and actions of government officials remain under close scrutiny.
The apology from Moses Kuria, though met with doubtfulness by some, highlights the ongoing debate surrounding the role of leaders in addressing the concerns of their constituents with empathy and humility.