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Bold or Goofs? Here are curious statements by Uhuru

President Uhuru Kenyatta is certainly a man who likes to speak his mind. This is a president who takes no prisoners.

On Wednesday, the President dismissed British tourists as “taxi drivers”, touching off a heated debate online among Kenyans.

But this is not the first time the Head of State has come out guns blazing. Below are some instances when his remarks raised eyebrows:

When he called British tourists taxi drivers

The President was angered by a recent decision by the British government to step up its travel advisory against Kenya.

So when a TV presenter posed the question to him on Wednesday during the Diaspora Investment Conference in Nairobi, Kenyatta did not mince his words.

“I have not heard them issue any travel advisory against other European countries which are facing terrorism,” he said, adding that they will not intimidate Kenya. “If they do not want their taxi drivers to come, (President Barack) Obama is coming.”

When he called supreme court judges “some six people”

After the March 4, 2013 election and Kenyatta was declared winner of the presidential vote, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga immediately filed a petition against the results at the Supreme Court.

But when Kenyatta addressed a retreat of elected Members of Parliament, women representatives and Senators allied to his Jubilee Coalition in Naivasha he surprised friend and foe when he said: “I look forward, sincerely, to working with you once some six people decide something or other. We’re ready, anyway, we’re ready once they decide and rule … I hope you are also ready.”

He later apologised. “It was not my intention to sound casual in reference to our Supreme Court Judges,” Kenyatta said.

“For that reason, I offer my sincere apologies. My informality may be interpreted as disrespect for the court and that is not the case.”

When he banged the table at a press conference

In February 2011, President Mwai Kibaki submitted to Parliament names of Justice Alnashir Visram to be Chief Justice, Prof Githu Muigai (Attorney General), lawyer Kioko Kilukumi (Director of Public Prosecutions) and William Kirwa as Controller of Budget.

It was left to the then House Speaker Kenneth Marende to rule on whether the nomination process was fair. He ruled that the President did not follow the law.

Minutes later, PNU MPs led by Kenyatta convened a news conference in Parliament where they condemned the Speaker’s ruling and indicated that they will contest it.

Kenyatta was caught on camera banging the table against Raila, claiming he had influenced the Speaker’s ruling.

When he called the West “declining imperial powers”

At the AU summit in Ethiopia in October 2013, President Kenyatta spoke his mind thus: “Thus the imperial exploiter crashes into the pits of penury. The arrogant world police is crippled by shambolic domestic dysfunction. These are the spectacles of Western decline we are witnessing today.”

His crimes against humanity case was ongoing at the International Criminal Court. The case has since been dropped.

When he called Kibaki “hands-off everything” president

As Leader of Official Opposition, Kenyatta addressed a no-holds-barred press conference where he coined the “hands off, eyes off, feet off, everything off” phrase with regard to former president Mwai Kibaki’s laid back approach to governance.

Remember any other “goofs”? Share with our readers.