Deputy President William Ruto has positioned himself as a front runner in the August 9, presidential elections due 39 days.
He will be facing off with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga of the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya coalition party.
Ruto is poised to become the first sitting deputy president to succeed his boss in an elective seat should he beat his main challenger in the August 9, State House race.
The former Agriculture Minister has fashioned himself as a real ‘hustler’ who is banking on the majority of low-income earners against Raila who is banking on the state machinery for a win.
Kivumbi.co.ke has looked at seven crucial moments in DP William Ruto’s political career as the countdown to the much-awaited August 9, General Election fast approaches.
Ruto is arguably a man on a mission who made his political debut in 1992 at the tender age of 26 and got his space in the late President Daniel Moi’s circles.
1. Youth For Kenya 1992 (YK92)
It was at this time that Ruto was appointed secretary of the Youth for Kanu (YK ’92), a youth wing established to popularise the ruling party among young voters in the run-up to the 1992 multiparty politics.
2. Entry into elective politics
In 1997, Ruto became the Member of Parliament for Eldoret North constituency after defeating the ruling party, Kenya National African Union (KANU) big shot, Reuben Chesire.
This paved way for his appointment as the assistant minister and later a Cabinet minister in the Moi and late President Mwai Kibaki’s administrations.
3. First Political connection with Uhuru
4. Working with Raila Odinga
In 2005, Ruto was part of the pentagon team which included among others ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi, former minister Joe Nyaga , and Raila Odinga that successfully opposed the amendment of the Constitution during the 2005 referendum commonly known as ‘Chungwa na Ndizi’.
5. Breaking ranks with Uhuru Kenyatta
In the build-up to the dramatic 2007/08 General Election, Ruto broke ranks with Uhuru where he joined forces with the then ODM leader Raila Odinga.
Although Raila’s win was suspected to have been snatched, Ruto was appointed the Agriculture and later Education Minister in the grand coalition government.
6. Internationa Criminal Court case
Following his major role in Odinga’s campaigns in 2007, the DP was faced by the International Criminal Court (ICC) trial for his alleged role in the violence that followed the disputed presidential election in which Raila Odinga lost the presidency to late president Mwai Kibaki.
His case is still ongoing with claims he was actively involved in witness tampering.
7. Opposing 2010 constitution
William Ruto was the single most prominent politician who dared go against all other prominent politicians who campaigned against the current 2010 constitution.
While his side lost as Kenyas overwhelmingly voted for the new constitution, he had made a grant entry to the national stage and was ready to play in the big political league.
Although in the unfamiliar territory despite backing President Kenyatta in 2013 and 2017, Ruto is now an outsider in his own government, and has set his sights on the top seat.