In Summary
  • In what appears like a new game plan, the DP went to United Kingdom and is expected to make several other foreign visits, mostly in western capitals, in the coming months .
  • In this Jubilee’s second term, Mr Ruto has intensified his diplomatic mission that insiders say is part of a broader strategy to enhance his international image ahead of the 2022 elections.

Deputy President (DP) William Ruto has now turned to foreign travels and establishing key backings in influential foreign capitals as efforts to forestall his State House bid by State machinery intensifies.

This week, he travelled to United Kingdom and gave a lecture at Chatham House in what aides say is part of a wider strategy to woo foreign influential think tanks to his side.

PUBLIC PRESSURE

Chatham House is a research and analysis think-tank whose insights on global and regional events are routinely used by world media and therefore influence world major countries business and political leaders.

It was Mr Ruto’s first lecture at Chatham House and he joins President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga as some of the Kenyan leaders who have had the privilege to address it.

Back home, Mr Ruto’s movements across the country have been hit by lack of cash in his office as well as a sustained public pressure from his boss President Kenyatta that there should no politicking until campaigns officially start.

In what appears like a new game plan, the DP went to United Kingdom and is expected to make several other foreign visits, mostly in western capitals, in the coming months as he aims to consolidate his support in western nations.

Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen acknowledged that Mr Ruto’s foreign visits have increased in Jubilees second term but attributed it to the “unique circumstances” of the first term.

“During the first term, there was the International Criminal Court matters. Those were personal issues and a foreign visit would have been interpreted as if he is trying to lobby for himself. You also acknowledge that the President was also travelling more,” he said.

“The DP does not travel on his own behalf. It’s a diplomatic visit done with the blessings and on behalf of the country’s number one diplomat, the President. If there will be more travels it will be dependent on the arrangements the President and his deputy have.”

Mr Ruto chose London to lay bare his thoughts on constitutional change.

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