Controversy surrounds the newly appointed Romanian ambassador to Kenya, Gentiana Serbu, just a day after presenting her credentials to President William Ruto.
The diplomatic hiccup occurred hours after the President’s delivery of the State of the Nation address in a joint parliamentary sitting of both the National Assembly and the Senate on Thursday afternoon.
The Romanian diplomat took to X, formerly Twitter to express her presence during the event, extending appreciation to the speakers of both houses for the invitation.
However, what caught the attention of social media users was the flag emoji accompanying her tweet—a flag that wasn’t of Kenya but, surprisingly, of Dominica, a Caribbean country located over 6,000 miles away from Nairobi.
The misstep raised eyebrows and led to swift reactions on social media.
It’s worth noting that this incident comes on the heels of the recall of Serbu’s predecessor, Dragos Tigau, who was recalled in June for making a racist remark comparing Africans to monkeys.
The diplomatic blunder was soon rectified as Serbu deleted the initial tweet and replaced it with a corrected version featuring the Kenyan flag.
Even with the quick rectification, discussions concerning the importance of accurate representation especially in diplomacy have been triggered by the occurrence.
Foreign envoys are expected to engage with precision and cultural sensitivity. The incident, while seemingly minor, underscores the importance of attention to detail in diplomatic communications.
The eastern European country’s president Klaus Iohannis is set to make a visit to Kenya in mid-November as part of his tour of four African countries.
According to the Romanian Presidential Administration, President Iohannis will visit Kenya, Tanzania, Cabo Verde, and Senegal between November 14-23.
The trip, the first political-diplomatic approach at this level in the last 30 years, according to the announcement, is aimed at relaunching Romania’s relations with the continent and as part of the joint effort at the European level.
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