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Five events DP Ruto skipped after govt ban on public gatherings

The ever energetic Deputy President William Ruto has been missing in action in the last fortnight or so.

Understandably so, only to some extent, considering the recent government directive banning all public gatherings and political events, in which he had been a permanent fixture each passing day.

However, Ruto has also conspicuously skipped high level engagements involving the presidency. They include these five crucial events:

  1. Coronavirus announcement – On Sunday March 15, president Uhuru Kenyatta announced on live TV an update and measures to be taken after the first coronavirus case was confirmed in the country. He was flanked by Interior CS Fred Matiang’i and other cabinet secretaries. DP Ruto was nowhere to be seen. A few days earlier, he was also absent when Uhuru chaired a cabinet meeting to discuss the virus matter at length.
  1. Nairobi County takeover – Last week, President Uhuru Kenyatta oversaw the transfer of functions from the Nairobi County to the national government. He also appointed officials to oversee the task. Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa, Nairobi governor Mike Sonko, and other high level dignitaries witnessed the occasion as it happened…..except DP Ruto.
  1. Somalia border dispute – The president recently dispatched CS Fred Matiang’i to meet the Somali President Mohammed Abdulahi Mohammed and Ethiopia PM Abiy Mohammed to discuss resolution of the political stalemate between Kenya and Somalia, and not his principal assistant William Ruto, who is way above the Super CS in the pecking order. This left Kenyans with many unanswered questions.
  1. Moi funeral plans – Even though President Kenyatta was out of town when his political mentor president Daniel arap Moi passed on, it was Matiang’i and not Ruto who was tasked with coordinating the burial arrangements. Ultimately, the DP was forced to address a press briefing on the burial alone and attending the funeral just like any other regular mourner.
  1. Beyond Zero marathon – The DP and his his better half Rachel Ruto gave this annual event a wild berth this year. It was a telling absence because one, the DP and his family have taken part in all past events, and two, it just did not make sense for Ruto to stay away from this event and instead prioritise attending a campaign rally in Meru County on the same day.