Coming from a humble family, William Ruto has become one of the richest men in Kenya and presents himself as the candidate of the poor, facing a coalition of “dynasties” of Kenyan political life, embodied by the duo of Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta. At 55, the outgoing vice president, with a sulphurous past, is seeking the presidency for the first time.
From our correspondent in Nairobi,
He went to school barefoot, put on his first pair of shoes at the age of fifteen and sold eggs and chickens on the side of the roads of the Rift Valley: William Roto came from a humble family and I like to remind him.
Starting from nothing, having become a successful businessman – one of the richest businessmen in his country – the 50-year-old presents himself as an omen ” jostling nation A nation of resourcefulness. He makes his voyage and his meteoric ascent Campaign argument, logo, trademark approx. The situation has taken a toll in a country with high inflation, where three out of 10 Kenyans live on less than $1.90 a day, according to the World Bank. Whereas, according to Oxfam, the wealth of the two richest Kenyans exceeds the combined income of 30% of the population, or 16.5 million people.
But the cum’s journey is less smooth than this legend would like. Science graduate William Ruto, briefly a teacher, studied politics in the 1990s with Daniel arap Moi – the only Kalenjin chief Kenya knew. He specifically joins the ranks of the Kano sulfur youth, the tyrannical party, which unfortunately was notorious for its persecution of members of the Kikuyu ethnic group in the Rift Valley during these years.
His first attempt at being elected in 1997 was successful. He became an MP for the northern constituency of Eldoret and quickly established himself as an influential figure within the party. At the age of thirty-six, he is paid to the minister. He held several portfolios, including education and interior, and then achieved great power: he became Vice President in 2013, introducing himself as Vice PresidentUhuru Kenyatta, the candidate of the former rival Kikuyu ethnic group. This ingenious coup of the alliance, which Kenya traditionally follows, shocked public opinion. And for good reason: Five years ago, the two men clashed through overlapping communities during a post-election crisis that killed more than 1,000 people and which then led to their indictment by International Criminal Court (CPI), accused of playing a leadership role in organizing the violence.
Their alliance, called the Accused Coalition, aims to unite efforts to bury these lawsuits. And it works. Once the duo was elected, a massive campaign of intimidation and disappearance of witnesses began, forcing the International Criminal Court to drop the charges against the two men. lack of evidence Trial Paul Jicherua Kenyan lawyer accused of bribing and intimidating witnesses to such an extent that it was impossible to continue the proceedings against William Ruto, but began on February 15 in The Hague.
The law also states that Uhuru Kenyatta will support his deputy’s candidacy to succeed him in 2022. The future appears to have been set for William Ruto. But at this point, their alliance collapses. In 2018, Uhuru Kenyatta made a new change To bring this time closer to Raila Odingauntil then his eternal opponent, who now supports him in the presidential run.
As a good strategist, Willam Ruto, the now-nominated vice president, remains in office, while he works to build his standing as an opponent. And he does not hesitate – after spending more than 10 years at the heart of the state apparatus – to emerge as a competitor to the establishment, facing the alliance of dynasties embodied by Odinga and Kenata.
William Roto Proceed with the campaign too early. He travels the country in a hat and polo shirt, doubling expectations against Uhuru Kenyatta’s balance sheet to better distance himself from it. He criticizes Raila Odinga as a “puppet” of the outgoing president. Christian ” born again Claimed to be the father of six children, he promises above all to “get out of the despair of millions of people” by developing a bottom-up economy. In several recent interviews, he even prides himself on replacing ethnic divisions – a regular source of competition in Kenyan politics – with social division.
Is this enough to forget his sullen past and the long series of scandals and accusations of corruption with which his name has been associated and which the candidate has always carefully ignored? The extent of his wealth and the plots of land he acquired in the west and on the Kenyan coast are highly questionable. This is also a point he shares with Deputy Rigati Jachagua, who chose him as his deputy (see box).
Regarding the August 9 election, since the campaign began, William Ruto has continued to blow hot and cold. He promises that he will accept the election result, whatever it is, and says he trusts the Electoral Commission to organize the elections. reasonable But this does not prevent him at the same time from intensifying outings aimed at discrediting the electoral register, or from accusing officials of pressuring state officials and holding nightly meetings with the intent of conspiring to prevent you from winning the elections.
Rigati Jachagua, a deputy accused of corruption
57-year-old Rigati Jachagwa likes to present himself as the son of a family of Kenya independence fighters, and the eighth of a family of 9 children. A graduate in political science, he started in the civil service under Daniel arap Moi, then in 2001 became the personal assistant to Uhuru Kenyatta, a minister at the time. The two men walk together for 5 years and then get angry. Once Rigathi Gachagua was elected deputy in 2017, he became one of the fiercest opponents of the outgoing president. He hails from Nyeri County, the richest electorate in Mount Kenya, the country’s main reservoir of votes. This is one of the reasons why he was favored as the favorite senator candidate, Keithor Kennedy. The other explanation is probably due to the extent of his enormous wealth, and the resulting ability to mobilize.
15 days before the vote, justice also confronted him in this matter. The anti-corruption judge ordered him to return to the state the equivalent of 1.7 million euros, obtained illegally. According to the country’s asset recovery agency, ARA, Rigathi Gachagua is involved in a complex money laundering scheme involving several companies that received funds from ministries before transferring the funds to his personal accounts. But the deputy appealed. It seems that this court decision had a measured resonance in public opinion. “It is a vivid example of a real ploy that rose from the wake of our struggle for freedom to the pinnacle of professional, commercial and political success.” William Ruto boasted when announcing his selection for Vice President.