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Ruto’s Rise to Presidency: What Factors Played a Significant Role in It?

The whole world was overwhelmed when it was flooded with news of William Ruto winning the presidential election of the August 9 polls on August 15. He outsmarted the two allies, who are the sitting president Uhuru Kenyatta and perennial aspirant Raila Odinga and became Kenya’s fifth president successfully in the midst of a chaos. Death, disappearances, and turmoil followed the announcement of the fifth president. Ruto’s journey from the streets to the presidency is worth hearing. Let’s take a look at it now.

Ruto’s Background

The journey of Ruto from Kamagut to the Presidency is like a thrilling novel full of twists and turns. He was born as a son of a peasant in Kamagut village on December 22, 1966. According to the reports of various news channels, he raised sheep and cows and attended school barefoot. Yes, his life was this simple! Sounds like a Bildungsroman right? It is just like playing games in 22bet and suddenly your luck favors and you win a huge amount of money. The difference is just, here, not only his luck but also his hard work has brought him to this position today.

How Did Ruto Join Kenya Politics?

Mr. Ruto was a part of the former president (1992) Daniel Arap Moi’s Kanu Party. He had the skills from the first, he always started his speech with “my friend” which helped him to stand out among his opponents in front of the crowd. He had also driven many rallies and always stood out as a strong personality in the media.

What Can Be the Possible Factors Behind Ruto’s Reign?

It is needless to say that Ruto manifested this presidency long ago. But what can be the possible factors which worked in favor of Ruto? Let’s find out the answer.

  • Kenyan politics has different sides of it and Ethnic politics play a major role in forming one of the sides. Mr. Ruto belongs to the third biggest ethnic group named Kalenjin. Only one president – Mr. Moi came out from this group and survived long. He is considered the political king of the ethnic group. Hence, this shaped Ruto’s political career.
  • According to sources, Mr. Ruto was involved in corruption and his huge wealth was a subject of suspicion. In June 2013, the High court ordered him to compensate a farmer who had accused him of encroaching upon his land. He denied the whole allegations and asked his voters to support him in the promise of making their life better afterwards.
  • Instead of making Ethnicity his weapon he framed the class war between haves and have-nots. He channelized the war in such a way that it was shown as a distinction between rich and poor. It also undermined the mobilization of politics which worked in his favor.
  • The Covid-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine had a huge impact on the economy of Kenya. It disrupted the Kenyan economy and Ruto used these points as his weapons. It was said by the reporters that he related himself to the common man who was living with hunger and poverty.
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“Raila Odinga was a weak president who disrupted the economy,” said a Professor at Kenyatta University. Ruto promised the economic prosperity of Kenya and established himself as a Common Man.

Final Thoughts

Whatever factors have worked, the final decision is in favor of Ruto. History has been made as Dr. Ruto’s victory has broken down the dynastic politics of Kenya and established a common man in power. It will  really interesting to see if Ruto can live up to the promises of benefiting the mass and growing the economy of Kenya or not. Whether he can live up to the expectations of the mass or not, that remains an open question as of now.


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