William Ruto the man to watch as he celebrates his birthday today
Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto is celebrating his birthday today as he turns 51. He was born on 21 December 1966 in Kamagut, Uasin Gishu County to Daniel Cheruiyot and Sarah Cheruiyot.
He attended Kerotet Primary School for his primary school education then joined Wareng Secondary School for his Ordinary Levels education before proceeding to Kapsabet Boys in Nandi County for his Advanced Levels. He then went on to receive a BSc (Botany and Zoology) from the University of Nairobi, graduating in 1990.
Ruto was Organising Secretary of Youth for Kanu ‘92 (YK92), a group that was formed to drum up support for President Daniel arap Moi in the 1992 election.
He was Secretary General of KANU, the former ruling political party and MP for Eldoret North Constituency between December 1997 and January 2013. He won the seat in the 1997 election after defeating Reuben Chesire.
He was appointed to the position of Assistant Minister in the Office of the President by President Daniel arap Moi in 1998. He was promoted to be Minister for Home Affairs in August 2002. He also previously served as the Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitutional Reform in the 9th Parliament.
In January 2006, Ruto declared publicly that he would contest for the presidency in the general election, scheduled for December 2007. His statement was condemned by some of his KANU colleagues, including former president Moi.
Ruto sought the nomination of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) as its presidential candidate, but in the party’s vote on 1 September 2007, he was placed third with 368 votes, behind the winner, Raila Odinga (with 2,656 votes) and Musalia Mudavadi (with 391).
Ruto expressed his support for Odinga after the vote. He resigned from his post as KANU secretary general on 6 October 2007.
On 21 April 2010, Ruto was transferred from the Agriculture Ministry and posted to the Higher Education Ministry, swapping posts with Sally Kosgei. On 24 August 2011, William Ruto was relieved of his ministerial duties, remaining a Member of Parliament. He joined hands with Uhuru Kenyatta to form the Jubilee alliance for the 2013 presidential election.
He has served as Deputy President since 2013. On 4 March 2013, he was elected as Deputy President alongside President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Ruto’s birthday comes at a time when the country is experiencing some sharp divisions between NASA and Jubilee supporters after the prolonged electoral period.
The deputy president who is eying the presidency in the 2022 general election is the man to watch after president Uhuru Kenyatta finishes his second term in office.
He was once a chicken seller, carrying out his trade at Kambi Kuku market along the busy Eldoret — Malaba Highway.
Ruto braved the scorching sun to sell chicken to motorists at the railway crossing point then as a student. That was years before he joined politics.
Ruto married Rachel Chebet in 1991; they have got six children. In February 2017 Prisca Chemutai Bett claimed that Ruto had fathered her 11-year-old daughter Abby Cherop Ruto, a claim that Ruto accepted.
Last year President Uhuru Kenyatta posted on his official Facebook account to congratulate the deputy president as he turned 50. His post read: Join me in wishing my brother, friend and able Deputy a happy 50th Birthday. May you ever remain “strong in will, to strive, to seek, to find and not to yield”. God’s blessings always!