WILLIAM RUTO: From a chicken hawker to a political mogul, and a looming nosedive
Many a time we read of stories of grass to grace, and hopefully, get inspired by them.
There are several cases of people who were born all poor but have risen up the ladder of life from abject poverty to dining with kings, if not becoming those kings themselves.
Such is the case for William Arap Samoei Ruto, the current Deputy President of Kenya.
Ruto was born by peasant parents in Uasin Gishu County and attended schools in his village.
The smart and witty politician once said he wore his first pair of shoes when he enrolled for Form one at the rural Wareng’ High School in Uasin Gishu County.
After high school, the then born again Christian would start selling chicken on the Great North Road for between Ksh11 and Ksh13 to truck drivers hauling cargo to Uganda and beyond.
The DP would later join politics through the infamous Youth for Kanu, a group meant to mobilize support for the late President Daniel Moi.
Since then, the man has been on local news for all kinds of reasons, from his election as Member of Parliament to becoming the country’s second in command.
His goose seemed to have started cooking in 2007 when he was, alongside five others, prosecuted at the ICC Court over alleged deaths and post-election violence that rocked Kenya.
He was a member of ODM then and an ardent supporter of the party leader Raila Odinga.
Ruto would face the charges alongside his ‘brother’ Uhuru Kenyatta, and the charges on them would be eventually dropped.
In 2012, the two came together and crafted a political outfit as they geared up to vie in the 2013 general elections.
TNA party was born and it would be the vehicle they would use to clinch the Presidency.
To many, this seems to have become the climbing lane for Ruto, from a mere MP with normal mere incomes. Being the Deputy President, Ruto had access to a huge salary with many allowances among other lines of income.
Years later, the DP has invested large and wide. He flies from village to village in private helicopters; owns a fleet of top-of-the-range cars and when he is in the mood, he donates at least Ksh2 million at a single church harambee.
He has also built a multi-billion home that has a private airstrip which he uses when enjoying the quiet life in the countryside.
However, there comes a time when one has to take time off, or a back seat to watch and learn or restrategize.
That is the case for the DP. In the recent past, Ruto has been forced to end his many weekly campaign trips as his once political allies fight tooth and nail to tame his ambition.
From his allies being kicked out of powerful positions, to corruption-related cases being lined up to shake him, it seems no stone is being left unturned to stop the man.
Whether he rethinks his line of political lifeline or not will be a story to tell, but the truth is, everything is possible in Kenyan politics, and it is never a dull day.