Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto is making his first stab at the presidency, but that doesn’t mean he’s new to Kenyan politics. He has been a member of the country’s politics for 30 years, albeit in different roles.
Dr. William Samoei Ruto joined politics in 1992 while still a university student and raised the support of then President Daniel Arap Moi under Youth for Kanu ’92, the youth wing of the then ruling KANU party.
Then in the next election in 1997, he contested and won a parliamentary seat in his home town of Eldoret… In 2002, he supported the presidential candidacy of Uhuru Kenyatta, but Kenyatta lost to Mwai Kibaki.
He later teamed up with Raila Odinga in 2007, opposing Mwai Kibaki’s re-election bid. Kibaki won in a disputed election that led to post-election violence in which 1,100 people were killed and thousands displaced.
When the International Criminal Court came calling, Kenyatta and Ruto were accused of crimes against humanity, but the charges were dropped because there was no evidence to support either case.
which spawned a political marriage of convenience between Ruto and Kenyatta that resulted in Kenyatta being elected president in 2013 and 2017.
In 2018, the rift between the two began when Kenyatta called for a truce with his political rival, Raila Odinga. Ruto told the SABC at a press conference in July that Kenyatta had told him he wanted to build his legacy with a new team.
“The president asked me if he wanted another team to help him, he signed an executive order that changed the government, I no longer chaired cabinet committees, I was no longer involved in making crucial decisions, so that’s it,” he said. Ruto in an interview with the SABC.
A dejected Ruto dug in and launched his presidential bid in March this year.
The political analyst, prof. Gitile Naituli.
“William Ruto is a hard-working Kenyan, an extremely brilliant Kenyan and I think he is smart,” says Professor Naituli.
He follows the mantra of uplifting the poor – the so-called hustlers – even though he is rich and so is his running mate Rigathi Gachagua. His opponent, Raila Odinga, accuses him of corruption, but Ruto says he is clean and so are his foot soldiers.
“They are just using propaganda to control the people around me and try to intimidate people into not working with me,” he said, adding that the corruption charges against him are a political witch hunt.
The showdown with his boss, Uhuru Kenyatta, is over, with Kenyatta now fully supporting Odinga.
So can Ruto ascend to the presidency at the first attempt? Prof. Naituli believes that this is possible.
“He can still win elections because this is a democracy and I can tell you that his vibrant narrative is capturing the imagination of Kenyans,” Prof Naituli concludes.
The date of the draw is Tuesday, August 9th.
‘Ambitious’ Kenyan deputy defies boss’ wishes – SABC News
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