By Spy Uganda
There were mixed reactions among netizens on social media after a photo of African leaders on a bus to Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral went viral.
Among the leaders was Kenyan President William Ruto; seated next to him was his wife Rachel Ruto, who was gazing outside the window – and, directly in front of the First Lady, Tanzanian President Suluhu.
But what caught the attention of many netizens was President Ruto’s smile, many who joked that he had been a happy man since he was sworn in as the head of state last week.
“Ruto’s smile ever inspires hope…Si ile ya kuforce. I really hope he works for the people of Kenya, cause enyewe hatuwezi kula hiyo smile,” said Mercer Gana on Twitter.
A section of Africans on Twitter thought it was not safe to have several African leaders bundled in one bus for security purposes.
“It’s extremely dangerous to carry our African presidents in one bus what if God forbid the bus rolls, does it mean we won’t have presidents in Africa?” asked Esimba.
Seth Othale wrote: “‘Catch the Bus!’….but it’s not a bad thing after all. My only concern is how African Presidents & Heads of State were bundled together in identical buses.”
However, while others thought it was not wise to have African leaders on one bus, some opined that it was a sign of humility.
“Humbleness is a cardinal principle in politics,” said Konde Hanza on Twitter. His sentiments were echoed by Augustine Kipsegei, who said, “Humility is the best model.”
Other didn’t see a problem with the leaders using a bus to travel, saying it’s a norm in other continents.
“This bus arrival by Head of States is not a problem for Europeans. They wouldn’t mind arriving by bicycle if possible. It is poor Africans who always flaunt wealth they don’t have that are feeling it,” wrote Sir Dickson.
Ruto joined over 100 heads of state and prime ministers to grace the service at Birmingham Palace in the United Kingdom.
Global leaders were asked to give up their bullet-proof cars and, instead, share transport with their fellow presidents and Prime Ministers as part of plans organised by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to enable safe travel to the Queen’s funeral.
However, an exception was made for President Biden for security measures who traveled to the funeral service in the armour-plated Cadillac known as the ‘Beast.’