Nairobi News


Nuru Okanga criticises Ruto’s directive to build Kelvin Kiptum a house

By Sammy Waweru February 21st, 2024 2 min read

An Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party supporter has criticised President William Ruto’s directive to build a house for the late Kelvin Kiptum’s widow before his burial.

Kiptum, the world marathon record holder, will be buried on Friday, February 23, 2024, in Chepsamo village, Chepkorio, Elgeyo-Marakwet County, his hometown.

In honour of the world marathon record holder, President Ruto instructed the construction of a house at the athlete’s home.

However, according to Nuru Okanga, an ardent ODM supporter, the head of state should have extended warm support to Kiptum while he was still alive.

“We appreciate the gesture, but you should have built him a house when he was still alive. Kiptum has put Kenya on the world map through his athletic achievements,” Okanga said on Monday evening, February 20, 2024, while streaming live on his official Facebook page.

Also read: Watch: Why Nuru Okanga refuses to reveal his secondary school details

Drawing a parallel with former Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko’s support for the renowned boxer Conjestina Achieng, Okanga suggested that Dr Ruto should have recognized the athlete’s contributions earlier, rather than waiting until after his passing.

“Follow Sonko’s example of supporting Conjestina Achieng. You should recognize athletes who bring honour to Kenya,” Okanga stated as he questioned the President’s directive to build Kiptum’s house before his burial.

The construction of the house, funded by the government, is racing against time.

Dr Ruto is expected to attend the burial of the star athlete, who died on February 11, 2024, in a fatal road accident in Eldoret.

Mr Okango, who has consistently criticized President Ruto’s government, also urged the government to construct a house for Mr Kiptum’s father.

The father, after the son’s demise, revealed that Kiptum was the only child.

“The millions invested in Kiptum’s house should have been given to his wife. President Ruto should also provide the widow with Sh2 million during the athlete’s burial,” he suggested.

Kiptum died at the age of 24, and a few days before his death, the marathoner’s record of 2 hours and 35 seconds was ratified by the international track federation World Athletics.

Mr Kiptum was the first man to run the marathon in under 2 hours, and 1 minute, setting a new world record of 2:00.35 at the Chicago Marathon in October 2023, surpassing fellow Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge’s mark.

Kiptum was set to participate in the Rotterdam Marathon on April 14, 2024.