Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Director of Communications, Philip Etale, ignited debate after appearing to request Rwandan President Paul Kagame to advice Deputy President William Ruto on how to keep promises. By John Mbati





Fro, Right to left: President Uhuru Kenyatta, Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Deputy President William Ruto during Kagame's state visit to Kenya in 2013. FILE

 

 

On Tuesday, February 11, Etale taunted Ruto for promising Kenyans that Jubilee Party would build over five stadiums in record time, a promise that remains unfulfilled.

Etale was contrasting this with Kagame's inauguration of the Kigali Arena -  the biggest indoor stadium in East Africa with a sitting capacity of about 10,000 people - on Friday, August 9, 2019.

 ODM Director of Communication Philip Etale who ignited a debate over Deputy President William Ruto's stadium promises

 
ODM Director of Communication Philip Etale pictured at a past event.


 

« Dear President Paul Kagame, as you sit at Nyayo National Stadium to mourn our fallen 2nd President, kindly whisper to someone next to you how a stadium can be constructed in one year and be complete for games and competitions.

« Tell them renovation should take only half of that time, » Etale posted on Facebook.

In 2017, Ruto promised Kenyans nine stadiums, stating that the Jubilee Government was keen on supporting and elevating all sporting activities in the country.

In a January 2020 interview on NTV with Ken Mijungu, Ruto defended himself arguing that the money set aside for the stadiums had been directed to other government projects. 

« You make it look like I was to get money from my pocket to build the stadiums, this was a Jubilee administration pledge, » Ruto defended.

In Rwanda, their 10,000-seater state-of-the-art arena is located next to the country’s iconic Amahoro National Stadium.

An aerial photo of the Kigali Arena


 

The arena is a multipurpose facility that will host indoor games, high profile meetings, conferences, exhibitions, and concerts.

Etale's comment earned criticism rather than support as he ended up exchanging abuses with his followers.

« Will they listen to him? Kenya iko na walafi not leaders (Kenya has gluttons, not leaders), » Joanne Nanjala affirmed.

«BBI will solve all our problems, » Ondari Bonmax added.

« As much as Philip does his paid work I don't think sometimes he processes what he writes on social media and above all telling people that you are above them is not necessary God giveth and whoever you are above might one day be above you be humble, » Evancee Paul chipped in.

One Valenciah Mukoto accused Raila Odinga, Etale's boss, of overseeing more corruption as compared to the Jubilee administration. 

« Money that was meant to build stadiums were the one Your political conman Raila Odinga was paid to accept the handshake, » Mukoto lashed out.

« A fool will always have something to say. I pity your parents for wasting their money, » Etale responded.