President William Ruto created a light moment at the Africa Food Summit in Tanzania after he teased President Samia Suluhu for using the phrase Azimio in her speech.
While addressing the delegates on Thursday, Ruto expressed that he got worried thinking that she was referring to the Kenyan opposition party which is led by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
The Head of State joked that the faction led by Raila was troublesome hence his worry.
Suluhu had made reference to Azimio in Swahili which means aspirations.
“We find problems when our neighbours tell us to speak in Swahili. I heard the speech of President Suluhu and when I was listening, I got to learn new words. I got to learn that there is kuchochea kilimo. In our country, kuchochea (incitement) is mostly done by politicians.” Ruto teased as the delegates laughed.
“I have heard you repeating Azimio and I got a little bit worried because where I come from, Azimio is totally different. They are the opposition party that can cause a lot of trouble. I have got to know that Azimio can also mean good things.”
Earlier, Suluhu teased Ruto over his Swahili teachings at the Africa Climate Summit that was attended by 20 Heads of State.
The Tanzania President opined that the greetings Ruto taught the over 16,000 delegates were not accurate as per Swahili linguistics – a move that saw CNN journalist Larry Madowo join in the banter to defend Ruto.
“The other day Ruto taught us to say jambo and we responded with jambo but the real thing should be habari za mchana. These Kenyans should be taken through lessons of Kiswahili,” Suluhu stated.
“I must defend my President. Kenya and Tanzania are very close neighbours. As Kenyans speak to them in poor Swahili, they (Tanzanians) respond to us in broken English and we just move on,” he stated.
However, Ruto was quick to rectify Madowo’s statements adding that his Swahili was better than that of the journalist.
“Let me help Larry. My Swahili is better than his. What he meant to say was that you (Tanzanians) speak to us in proper Swahili and we respond in proper English,” the Head of State responded to Larry’s defence.
A portrait of CNN's International correspondent Larry Madowo.