For 55-year-old President-elect William Samoei Ruto, clinching Kenya’s high job was tough. In any case, the outspoken politician has defied all odds, together with a rebuff from his former boss President Uhuru Kenyatta, to ascend to the nation’s highest workplace.
Wafula Chebukati, the chairman of Kenya’s Impartial Electoral and Boundaries Fee (IEBC), stated on Monday that Ruto had received nearly 7.18 million votes (50.49%) towards 6.94 million (48.85%) for his rival Raila Odinga within the August 9 vote.
The announcement got here on the heels of an announcement by the IEBC’s deputy chairperson and three different commissioners disowning the election outcomes.
“We cannot take ownership of the result that will be announced,” Impartial Electoral and Boundaries Fee (IEBC) vice chair Juliana Cherera advised reporters, saying the method was “opaque”.
The outgoing president backed Ruto’s predominant rival, opposition chief Raila Odinga. However even that was not sufficient to cease the “hustler nation” — a time period Ruto coined to confer with most of Kenya’s casual sector staff.
Ruto has pledged to implement a brand new bottom-up financial mannequin. However how exactly that may work stays to be seen.
His get together’s manifesto additionally requires drastic financial modifications to assist the much less lucky. As well as, Ruto has promised to create a cupboard that’s equally cut up between women and men.
In a current interview with DW, Ruto spoke of his plan to rework the agricultural sector to make sure meals safety.
“Agriculture is the most important sector that we have in Kenya. … There is absolutely no reason why we cannot produce enough food. There is no reason why 4 million Kenyans are starving,” he stated.
William Ruto was born on December 21, 1966, in Sambut Village, Kamagut, Uasin Gishu County. He accomplished his elementary education at Kerotet Main Faculty. He later attended Wareng Secondary Faculty earlier than transferring to Nandi County’s Kapsabet Boys Excessive Faculty.
In 1990, he graduated in Botany and Zoology from the College of Nairobi, the place he would later earn his Ph.D.
A confessed Christian, Ruto, met the late President Daniel Arap Moi throughout a church occasion. Moi is credited for exposing Ruto to Kenyan politics in 1992, following the nation’s transfer to multi-party democracy.
His humble beginnings — Ruto says he bought reside chickens to make ends meet in his youth — appeared to have resonated effectively with the Kenyan voters, who at present must take care of the rising price of residing.
However president-elect Ruto is a unique individual from the boy who bought his first pair of sneakers on the age of 15. In the present day, Ruto is likely one of the wealthiest Kenyans, boasting a 2,500-acre ranch, an enormous poultry farm, and investments within the lodge business.
Political rise, fall, and rise once more
Ruto launched his political profession by way of the Youth for KANU ’92 foyer, which supported late President Daniel Arap Moi, the president, throughout Kenya’s first multi-party elections in 1992.
After the defeat of KANU in 2002, Ruto reinvented himself and later partnered with Odinga throughout the disputed 2007 elections, which turned violent.
The post-election violence claimed greater than 1,000 lives and displaced lots of of hundreds of others. Because of this, the Worldwide Legal Court docket (ICC) indicted Ruto and Kenyatta, accusing the 2 of committing human rights abuses. Nevertheless, the ICC dropped its costs in 2016.
Feud with Uhuru Kenyatta
At The Hague, Ruto and Uhuru bonded and would later bid for the presidency — Kenyatta because the candidate and Ruto as his deputy — in 2013. They received that vote towards Raila Odinga, which might make this loss extra painful for Odinga.
In 2017, he and incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta had been working mates for a second time and had been re-elected once more.
The 2 then began to fall out in what was nonetheless not clear. Ruto and Kenyatta parted methods in 2021, and he was endorsed in March by the UDA get together to contest the presidential vote.
William Ruto has been Kenya’s deputy president since 2013. He has beforehand served as minister of residence affairs, minister of agriculture, and minister of upper schooling.
Ruto is married to Rachel Chebet, and the 2 have seven kids.