Two days ago- On Monday the 20th, Deputy President William Ruto was to travel out of the Country- to the United States and Canada to be precise.
But ostensibly- State House has apparently scuttled Ruto’s trip, a move that could heighten tension and factionalism in the ruling Jubilee coalition.
Things got so bad that a top Diplomat in Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been sent on compulsory leave.
Yesterday, Ruto’s communications secretary David Mugonyi confirmed that the DP had indeed been scheduled to travel abroad for an extensive tour of the two countries in a strategic re-branding move to establish backings in influential foreign capitals.
The trip was seen as having potential to bolster his bid for president in 2022 and strengthen his international credentials. The DP also planned to meet Kenyans in the diaspora, a critical segment of the population with a massive war chest. Many of them will be voting for the first time in 2022.
The trip was planned with a large entourage consisting of top officials from the DP’s office and a host of MPs.
And then State House happened.
The deep State honchos close to President Uhuru Kenyatta believed the trip was simply an extension of Ruto’s 2022 campaigns.
Uhuru and his cronies have resorted to these unorthodox dealings to cripple Ruto after it emerged that his plea to his second in command and his allies to freeze 2022 campaigning has fallen on deaf ears and the DP has defiantly continued traversing the country to market himself.
Ruto’s spokesperson however claims the trip was only canceled because of what he termed a“tight scheduling challenges” as Ruto’s foreign tours were coinciding with President Kenyatta’s.
He said Ruto was to fly to the US for “various official engagements” and proceed to Canada to speak at the Open Governance Partnership Conference scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday next week.
“However, His Excellency the President is scheduled to travel to South Africa for the presidential inauguration of Cyril Ramaphosa this Friday. Afterwards, the President is expected in Vancouver, Canada, for a Women Deliver Conference scheduled for June 3-6,” Mugonyi said.
But the argument that the President and his deputy cannot be out of the country at the same time is null and void.
In 2016,for instance, Uhuru flew out to Zambia for The Path to Universal Access to Energy in Africa by 2025 meeting. At the same time, Ruto was in Turkey for the World Humanitarian Summit.
But what is more troubling is that a senior official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was sent on compulsory leave for facilitating the DP’s trip.
An official in the Directorate of America in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was reportedly sent packing by Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma for facilitating Ruto’s trip
All this emerged after last week, Ruto dramatically confronted Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho, accusing him of being used to sabotage his 2022 presidential bid.
The two came face-to-face at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at around 8pm on Wednesday last week when they had gone to welcome Uhuru back from his one-day visit to Kigali, Rwanda.
Ruto confronted Kibicho, asking him why he allegedly instructed county commissioners and police commanders not to provide security at his functions.
President Kenyatta is said to have demanded a briefing about of the ugly airport incident that left top military chiefs, including Chief of Defence Forces Samson Mwathethe, speechless.
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