Nairobi News

NewsWhat's Hot

CJ Mutunga spars on Twitter with city lawyer on tribalism

Chief Justice Willy Mutunga and Nairobi lawyer Donald B Kipkorir had a bitter exchange on Twitter on Sunday evening, with the CJ accusing the lawyer of tribalism in his celebration of Team Kenya’s stellar performance in Beijing, China.

It all started when Kenya scooped the top position in the just concluded IAAF World Championships. Kenya topped the medal standing beating heavyweights Jamaica and United States of America. Kenya hauled a total of 16 medals (7 gold, 6 silver and 3 bronze).

Mr Kipkorir sent out a tweet implying that the world beaters were Kalenjins –not just Kenyans.

“Truly proud Kenyan and of being Kalenjin…The only tribe that sits atop the world. #SomeoneTellCNN #HotbedofChampions #beeijingworlds2015,” tweeted the lawyer.

But the tweet did not sit well with the Chief Justice who, in response, accused Mr Kipkorir of being tribal.

“I never thought it would be you to ETHNICIZE such a national and patriotic performance. SHAMELESS!” wrote Dr Mutunga.

Mr Kipkorir defended his opinion in a series of tweets saying; “It is hypocrisy to run away from one’s tribe or religion. Barcelona FC is a great Spanish Club, but are proud of being Catalans!”

“That Kenya is a State of 42 Tribe-Nations; that she topped the IAAF World Championship and that all the gold winners are Kalenjin is a fact!” he went on.

But @harunelson asked him the ethnicity of men’s 800m gold medalist David Rudisha.

To which Mr Kipkorir answered: “He is from Baringo though he lives in Narok!”

However, NTV managing editor Linus Kaikai corrected him: “David is the son of former Olympic sprinter Daniel Rudisha ole Matasi of Oloibor Soito village, Transmara.”

Other Kenyans weighed in the heated discussion with opinion split down the middle.

@IkeOjuok tweeted to Dr Mutunga; “What is shameless! Give credit to where it’s due. Kalenjins are celebrated.”

@ShafShaffi posted; “@wmutunga There’s a difference between positive & negative ethnicity. Methinks @dbk017 is right to be happy that his tribesmen won for Kenya (sic).”

Mr Kipkorir was in 2014 appointed a member of the consultative tourism recovery strategy committee that was formed to examine the challenges facing Kenya’s tourism industry.

Later in October 2014, he was appointed the chair of a special task force formed by Labour Secretary Kazungu Kambi to guide the ministry on how to regulate employment agencies that are recruiting Kenyans for job opportunities in foreign countries.

He runs KTK Advocates.