Kenya regret Biar’s remarks against Kiir

Kenya regret Biar’s remarks against Kiir
President Slava Kiir when he hosted Kenya’s Special Envoy to South Sudan, Kalonzo Musyoka at State House in Juba. [Photo, State House]

The Kenyan government has regretted remarks made by a fiacre critic of the South Sudanese government, Peter Biar Ajak during a talk show on two of Kenya’s television channels – KTN News and NTV.

The apology was delivered by Kenya’s Special Envoy to South Sudan, Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, after meeting President Salva Kiir in Juba, on Wednesday.

Kalonzo who is also Kenya’s former Vice President under the late President Mwai Kibaki termed Biar’s remarks “unethical behaviour.”

Kalonzo, who was in Juba on an official visit, took the chance to pass Kenya’s unequivocal apology to President Kiir over remarks made by Biar.

Kalonzo noted that two neighbouring countries cannot backtrack on bilateral relations they have enjoyed over the years as a result of the mistake made by Kenya’s television stations.

“Stephen Kalonzo expressed that President Uhuru Kenyatta is dismayed that some of the media negatively portrayed the presence of President Salva Kiir Mayardit at the State Funeral service, and expressed that at least the Media House has issued an apology to President Salva Kiir Mayardit and the people of South Sudan for the unethical behaviour,” the statement shared by the Office of the President read.

“Stephen further explained that H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit is the President of a Sovereign Nation and he doesn’t represent himself but the people of South Sudan.”

Kalonzo assured Kiir that Kenya was dedicated to seeing bilateral relations between the two countries thrive.

“Stephen Kalonzo said, President Salva Kiir Mayardit gave him assurance that what was done by the Kenya media cannot spoil the relations between South Sudan and Kenya,” the statement continued. 

Standard media apologizes

On Monday, the leadership of the Standard Group PLC apologised to President Kiir with a concession that they had messed up by airing accusations against the South Sudanese President by Dr Peter Biar, admitting it as “inappropriate, false and unethical remarks.”

The group’s Editor-In-Chief, Ochieng Rapuro, spoke to The City Review on the phone from Nairobi and owned up to their mistake.

“I wrote the letter of apology because what happened was a mistake within our channel and was not in agreement with our journalism principles,’’ he told The City Review.

“I delivered the letter personally through South Sudan’s Ambassador in Nairobi.” We are not afraid to own up because we messed up,” he said.

In his letter of apology addressed to President Kiir, Rapuro asked for a pardon from the head of state for the sustainability of the bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

No protest received

Although Kenya’s Ambassador to South Sudan, Samuel Nandwa, told journalists that the protest had been forwarded to the Media Council of Kenya, MCK’s Chief Executive Officer, denied receiving a letter of protest from any of the two embassies (Kenyan and South Sudanese).

“The Media Council of Kenya has not received any complaint related to the above matter,” Omwoyo stated.