Kenyan President William Ruto on Monday stopped a Tanzanian official from translating his speech claiming he was confusing him.
There was a light moment when Ruto, who had risen to address a press briefing at State House Dar es Salaam, jokingly asked the translator to take a seat and promised to repeat his speech in Kiswahili.
“I don’t think it is necessary to translate. Is there anyone here who does not understand English? I will repeat the speech you can just stop. You are confusing me,” he said, adding, “I struggled with Kiswahili in the morning… Allow me to speak English so that everyone can understand me.”
Ruto and Samia had earlier held bilateral talks on issues affecting the two countries.
During his tour of Uganda, Ruto stressed the need for the East African Community (EAC) to eliminate restrictions inhibiting free trade and the movement of citizens across borders.
He said having borderless EAC will allow people, goods and services to move across the region unhindered, creating opportunities, wealth and prosperity.
Since his inauguration on September 13, President Ruto has visited several countries, including England to attend Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, the United States for the United Nations General Assembly, Ethiopia for bilateral talks, and, most recently, Uganda to mark the country’s 60th anniversary of independence.
The visits are seen as part of Ruto’s efforts to familiarise himself with the neighbouring country’s counterparts as he kicks off his tenure as Kenya’s fifth President.
Before “telling off” the interpreter the president had requested to be allowed to speak in English “kwa sababu Kiswahili kinanichanganya.”