President Ruto in Ethiopia on first African trip
President William Ruto arrived in Ethiopia Thursday morning on his first tour of the region since taking office. In a statement issued by the State House, the Head of State is expected to preside over the official launch of Safaricom Ethiopia in Addis Ababa.
President Ruto is also set to travel to Uganda and Tanzania. The agenda for the regional tour includes talks on business and political ties, according to a dispatch from State House.
The president was seen off by among others, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, the nominee for Cabinet Secretary in charge of Defence Aden Duale, and the Chief of Defence Forces, Robert Kibochi.
Also present at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), before the President’s departure were Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary nominee Dr Alfred Mutua and Principal Secretary Ambassador Macharia Kamau.
On arrival in Addis Ababa, President Ruto was received by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The two leaders are expected to hold bilateral talks in Addis Ababa ahead of the event.
The Ethiopian subsidiary, known as the Global Partnership for Ethiopia, is a joint venture involving Safaricom, Vodacom Group, Vodafone Group, Sumitomo Corporation and the British International Investment. Safaricom owns 55.7 per cent of the company.
From Addis Ababa, President Ruto will travel to Uganda for the Sunday celebrations of 60 years of independence before heading to Tanzania to meet President Samia Suluhu.
The trip comes days after an online tiff between Kenya and Uganda that was triggered by a tweet made by Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, President Yoweri Museveni’s son, claiming his army could capture Nairobi in no more than two weeks.
Gen Muhoozi had also tweeted that if Kenya’s retired president Uhuru Kenyatta had run for a third term he would have won. In Kenya’s constitution, a president can only serve two terms.
Uganda’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs distanced itself from the first son’s tweets and President Museveni has since apologised for his son’s actions, ahead of Ruto’s Sunday visit, even though he defended the decision to promote his son to a full-time general.