Five things we learnt from Ruto’s US trip
Deputy President William Ruto’s trip to the United States of America ended on Sunday.
The trip was the first in a series of visits that will also lead the DP to the UK and Qatar.
Here are some take home notes from the DP’s tour of the US.
1. Attack the President – The DP has had a go at President Uhuru Kenyatta in public for the better part of the last four years. But then, he used the trip to the US as a perfect platform to inform the world that he’s fallen out with his boss. In one incident, , the DP explained he was ‘conned’ by the political deal involving President Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga.
But then, the highlight of the fallout was his speech at the Karson Institute for Race, Peace and Social Justice in Loyola University in Maryland, where Ruto asked the global community to intervene ahead of the August 2022 polls, claiming there were attempts to influence the will of the people.
2. Coalition with Mudavadi, Wetangula – Ruto brokered a deal with Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetangula in January to form the Kenya Kwanza Alliance.
And if anyone still had doubts on who wears the trousers in this threesome relationship, those were erased during this trip. Wetangula remained at home as Ruto headed to the US with Mudavadi, a former vice-president. That said, Ruto has without doubt the leader of delegation of a contingent of about 40 people.
The second in command has been the most visible, doing interviews, attending lectures, while Mudavadi has more or less been relegated as a flower girl. This could imply that Ruto will likely be the Alliance’s presidential flagbearer.
3. White House – Whether or not he visited White House, Ruto appeared keen to show the world that he did. The ‘visit’ was announced by the DP’s Communications team head Hussein Mohammed. But was it true? and either way, why was it important for the world to know?
4. Popularity contest – In his address to Kenyans living in the diaspora, Ruto has been keen to sell himself as the best option to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta even though the tone in his speeches has been soft compared to when he is meeting diplomats.
5. Sympathy votes – When time allows, like when he fielded an interview at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) the DP has sought for sympathy, arguing President Kenyatta has been aggressive towards him.
“If you get an opportunity with the President please ask him to be less aggressive towards me,” he said. The DP has also sought to, for once, explain the remarks he made in DR Congo to suggest nationals in the country are more or less musicians and just that.
In London, Ruto will meet senior government officials, visit the National Counter Terrorism Centre, and speak at the Commonwealth Secretariat and Royal Institute of International Affairs, popularly known as the Chantam House.