Rwandese President Paul Kagame’s recent social media post has set off a storm of mixed reactions as it seemingly downplayed the presence of Kenya’s Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua during the 60th Anniversary of the Zanzibar Revolution Celebrations held in Tanzania.
The photo shared by Kagame portrayed him sitting between Deputy President Gachagua and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, yet the accompanying caption omitted Gachagua’s recognition, categorizing him under the generic term ‘others.’
In the caption, Kagame acknowledged only Zanzibar’s leader, Hussein Ali Mwinyi, and Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu, emphasizing the collective capability of Africans to address their challenges.
“Today at Amaan Stadium, President Kagame is participating in the 60th Anniversary of the Zanzibar Revolution celebrations, joining H.E. Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi, President of Zanzibar and Chairman of the Revolutionary Council, H.E. Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of Tanzania and other leaders from the region,” Kagame noted.
The exclusion of Deputy President Gachagua from the list of recognized leaders immediately caught the attention of online observers, leading to questions about the diplomatic implications of this apparent oversight.
Social media users quickly reacted, with one individual expressing disbelief, “You didn’t mention Museveni and the Deputy President of Kenya,” and another pointing out the irony, “‘Other leaders’ and he is just next to you surely?”
Deputy President Gachagua attended the event on behalf of President William Ruto, who was reportedly engaged in official meetings and project launches in the Rift Valley during the same timeframe.
Gachagua, representing Kenya as its second in command, participated in the Zanzibar celebrations alongside a delegation of Kenyan MPs.
Despite the online buzz surrounding the perceived snub, Gachagua conveyed gratitude upon his return, thanking Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu and Zanzibar President Hussein Mwinyi for hosting the Kenyan delegation.
“This evening, I left Zanzibar City after a successful 60th Anniversary celebration of the Zanzibar Revolution. The celebration also offered us an opportunity to interact and share in matters of common interest with Heads of State and Government and other leaders,” Gachagua noted.
“On behalf of President William Ruto and the People of Kenya, I thank President Samia Suluhu of the United Republic of Tanzania and President Hussein Mwinyi of Zanzibar for hosting us.”