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Five times President Ruto has wept publicly

By Winnie Onyando September 27th, 2022 2 min read

Dr William Ruto is a shrewd and tough politico as evidenced by the efficiency with which he ran a successful presidential campaign that saw him elected the fifth president of the Republic of Kenya in last month’s General Election.

Some of his political opponents and critics even view him as one with authoritarian tendencies. Last week, during an interview with Al-Jazeera’s James Bays, President Ruto responded to this claims by describing himself as a firm, determined and focused leader.

“A majority of the people who have worked with me have come to appreciate that yes, I’m firm, I’m determined, I’m focused, and that’s the only reason I have gotten myself here (presidency). Unless you are that firm, you can’t get anything done,” President Ruto said.

Also read: President Ruto’s singing evokes sad memories in American Consul boss, Big Ted

His toughness and firmness, notwithstanding, President Ruto is also known for frequently getting emotional in public. There are many instances when Dr Ruto has publicly shed tears. Here are five occasions when the President wept publicly:

1. During a thanksgiving service at State House

During a thanksgiving service at State House, shortly after he sworn in as president, Dr Ruto fought back tears during the praise and worship session. In a video that was later shared on social media, the emotional president is seen wiping his tears using a handkerchief in the middle of prayer.

2. After Supreme Court upheld his election victory

President Ruto reacted with ‘tears of joy’ after the Supreme Court upheld his victory by dismissing a petition filed by his main rival Raila Odinga. In a room where they converge to wait for the Supreme Court ruling, which was delivered on September 5, 2022, Dr Ruto and his team were captured on camera kneeling down to thank God. They welcomed the ruling with hugs, smiles and tears.

3. When an eight-year old girl recited a heartwarming poem to him

On another occasion, Dr Ruto was moved to tears in public after an eight-year-old Nina Kanana Mutheu recited to him a hilarious, yet heartwarming, poem complete with a pet name for Ruto; Uncle Willy.

Also read: Uhuru’s hardliners CSs Matiang’i, Mucheru, Munya finally face President Ruto

In the poem, the little girl wished Ruto a long life and blessings as well as sending her greeting to the then president, Uncle Uhuru. In the poem, the little girl’s greatest wish was to sit next to the then Deputy President, a wish that she was granted as Dr Ruto came forward to not only hug her but also get her a chair right next to him. All this while, Dr Ruto kept wiping tears from his eyes.

4. In 2013 after Jubilee’s election victory

Soon after the Jubilee alliance took power, the then Deputy President broke down on the church podium of Faith Evangelical Ministry in Karen. It is believed that he was ‘celebrating’ their victory with his boss at the time President Uhuru Kenyatta.

5. During peace prayer at his official residence in Karen

Just days to the August 9 General Election, Dr Ruto was yet again overcome by emotion, shedding tears during a church service held at his official residence in Karen, Nairobi.

A video that later went viral, Dr Ruto was struggling to hold back tears during a praise and worship session led by Bishop Mark Kariuki to pray for peaceful elections.

Also read: Inside President Ruto’s changes in his new residence, State House