Kenyans were vocal in their criticism of the cabinet secretary for tourism Najib Balala’s handling of the death of 10 rhinos that were being relocated to a new habitat.
The rhinos, which had been relocated in a bid to save the endangered species, died due to multiple stress syndrome after repeatedly drinking salty water, according to a report by the Kenya Wildlife Services.
The minister had been criticised after it emerged that a number of previous attempts to move the animals were not approved by the country’s KWS Board, chaired by Dr Richard Leakey. The board had raised concerns over lack of safe water and vegetation in the new habitat, which the minister had apparently ignored.
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Many Kenyans called for his resignation and he has since responded.
“In my leadership, I decided that I am going to be right and not nice. On the issue of rhinos, I am going to stand with what is right. None of those calling for my resignation has appointed me; it is President Uhuru Kenyatta who appointed me, so they can go to hell.”
“GO TO HELL!” – Tourism CS Najib Balala tells Kenyans demanding his resignation. pic.twitter.com/uUCrCULwFH
— Nairobi News (@Nairobi_News) July 31, 2018
Kenyans took to their Twitter to react to the news, to the point of forcing an apology from the minister.
BALALA APOLOGISES to Kenyans for his go-to-hell rant over rhino deaths; says he regrets dragging Uhuru Kenyatta name into his emotional remarks. pic.twitter.com/qCPNysuPqg
— NationBreakingNews (@NationBreaking) July 31, 2018
Here are some comments:
Pitiful and reckless pressor by Tourism CS Najib Balala.
— Being Charlie ?? (@BeingCharlie) July 31, 2018
— Okore George (@Georgito_Okore) July 31, 2018
@tunajibu we will only accept ypur apologies after resignation. And we want our rhinos back too
— Victor Oria (@Nyuka_Bel) July 31, 2018
Kenya doesn’t want an apology,Kenya is for #BalalaWajibika let him resign and take responsibility.We want him to attest to the stupid statement he made.Let him smell hell.We have just started.
— Mulembe Nation Fact™ (@wafulakhayota) July 31, 2018
Apologies anyone can make. What he showed Kenyans is that He doesn’t care or respect our heritage which is already hanging on a balance. Wish this was China or Japan. #Resignation
— Kennedy Mulama Masinde (@mulamaken002) July 31, 2018
In progressive democracies he would be offering his apologies on his way back to the village, it was uncouth,unprofessional and lack of respect for the kenyan people. The least we expected was his resignation letter.
— Hon Ngigi (@ngigiboniface) July 31, 2018