Deputy President William Ruto is the President-Elect of the Republic of Kenya.
Ruto has been named by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati as the winner of the 2022 Presidential election in Kenya. This is after verification of Forms 34B from all 291 constituencies.
Ruto received 50.49% of the vote, a total of 7,176,141 votes, defeating Azimio la Umoja Candidate Raila Amolo Odinga – a former Prime Minister and veteran opposition leader who was making his fifth stab at the Presidency. Odinga received 6,942,930 votes representing 48.5% of the vote.
The win, however, came against the backdrop of confusion after four IEBC commissioners held a separate press conference at the Serena Hotel minutes before the results were announced. The result may be challenged at the Supreme Court. In a statement read by IEBC Vice-Chairperson Juliana Cherera, they rejected the results and described the last phase of the process as opaque.
“We cannot take ownership of the result that is going to be announced because of the opaque nature of this last phase of the general election,” stated IEBC Vice-Chairperson Juliana Cherera.
The Azimio la Umoja Chief Agent Saitabao Ole Kanchory had earlier held a press conference where he claimed that they had not had an opportunity to verify the results contained in the Form 34C that Chebukati would use to announce the winner of the election.
William Ruto has served as the Deputy President of Kenya since 2013. He was elected alongside President Uhuru Kenyatta for both of his two terms.
He was born on 21st December 1966 in Sambut village, Kamagut in Uasin Gishu County to Daniel Cheruiyot and Sarah Cheruiyot. Ruto attended Kerotet Primary School for his primary school education. He attended Wareng Secondary School for his Ordinary Levels education before moving on to Kapsabet Boys High School in Nandi County for his Advanced Levels.
The President-elect went on to study Zoology at the University of Nairobi (UoN), where he also chaired the Christian Union and where his political journey began. Ruto, who graduated in 1990, was a key member and official of the YK92 group that mobilized for late President Daniel Moi 1992 Presidential bid at the height of his authoritarian regime. YK92 was accused of engaging in practices including voter bribery and hooliganism.
Ruto won a parliamentary seat in the 1997 general elections. He defeated the incumbent, Reuben Chesire, who was Moi’s preferred candidate, and also the Uasin Gishu KANU branch chairman and an assistant minister.
Ruto would go on to occupy various positions in Moi’s administration as he found favor with the former President. He supported Uhuru Kenyatta’s failed bid for the Presidency on a KANU ticket in 2002.
He later joined Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) ahead of the 2005 Constitutional referendum and delivered the Rift Valley vote for Odinga in the 2007 elections which many believe Raila won. The disputed elections were followed by Post Election Violence (PEV) for which Ruto was among alleged perpetrators indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC). Uhuru also appeared before the ICC.
The case against Ruto was dropped in 2016 over lack of sufficient evidence. The ICC prosecutors have alleged witness tampering in a case against one of Ruto’s lawyers, Paul Gicheru. Ruto’s record is marred with numerous other allegations of corruption and land-grabbing – something his rivals attempted to use against him in campaigns for the Presidency.
He formed UDA after falling out with Uhuru in 2018 over his handshake with Odinga. He captured the imagination of voters with his ‘Hustler vs Dynasty’ campaign messaging
He has promised to transform the lives of ordinary Kenyans through a ‘bottom-up’ economic model that prioritizes Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).