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Is this the most heartless press release ever sent out?

Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) has been criticized for sending out one of the strangest press releases, which many have deemed to be callous.

The TTB press release demands that Miami Herald corrects an error in a story and say Guguleth Zulu, a renowned South African rally driver, died in Tanzania and not Kenya.

“Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) wishes to refute a claim by Cara Anna, a writer for the Miami Herald on July 18th wrote an article claiming that Guguleth Zulu a renowned South African rally driver, died while trying to summit ‘Kenya’s Mt Kilimanjaro,” reads the statement in part.

“We would like to correct this misleading information issued by Miami Herald, that Mt Kilimanjaro is in TANZANIA and not Kenya.”

Tanzania Tourist Board's press release in full. PHOTO | COURTESY
Tanzania Tourist Board’s press release in full. PHOTO | COURTESY

For starters, Kenya and Tanzania have for long been at loggerheads over Kilimanjaro. First, the iconic mountain is located in Tanzania but is best viewed from the Kenyan side. A few years ago, Tanzania protested after Kenyan tour operators put Kilimanjaro on their catalogue.

Some Kenyans also believe that the mountain was once located in Kenya but in 1886, then UK’s Queen Victoria bequeathed it to her grandson, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, as a birthday gift in 1886.


Another theory is that the British gave up Mt Kilimanjaro to the German Tanganyika in exchange for the sultanate of Zanzibar which stretched all the way to the Kenyan coastline, meaning Kenya would be landlocked.

What has irked many people who have seen the statement is the fact that TTB appears to take credits for a death, even going to a point of issuing a statement.

Nowhere on the statement does the board condole with the family of Mr Zulu.

Kenyans on Twitter went ham on the board.

On Facebook the story was the same. Carole Kimutai wondered: “So… Instead of the Tanzania Tourist Board FIRST sending condolences to the family of the deceased, they are now throwing a tantrum over who owns Mt. Kilimanjaro??? I agree Mt. Kilimanjaro is their major source of revenue but surely, a climber died!!!! Nkt!!!”

Daniel Gathemia Maina wrote: “Hiyo kilimanjaro nilidhani tunakuwanga washirika sawa na hawa watu hujua kiswahili pekee..Kwani wamekuwa wabinafsi (whatever that means)”

Mary Shillah added: “Hehehehehe so they did a press release? Its that serious,” while Geoffrey Ceeloh Mariga quipped, “hehehe this person must have been very annoyed with the location even saying RIP hakuna…..sasa wakenya wameshikana na wazungu kutuibia Kilimanjaro ….hatuta kubali tihiii.”