Cornered Ruto risky gamble of travelling to UK, US
Cornered Ruto risky gamble of travelling to UK, US
By John Kamau, editor, thingira.org (Email:firstname.lastname@example.org)
After watching his boss, President Uhuru Kenyatta at Sagana 111 deconstruct his hustler movement as ploy to deceive and manipulate Kenyans, a cornered Deputy President William (pictured) is set to begin a 12-day tour of United States and United Kingdom starting Sunday.
Ruto will travel to the two countries at a time his name has prominently featured at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands, as having bribed prosecution witnesses to recant their evidence in the case that was facing him and radio journalist Joshua Sang.
The revelations were made by prosecution witnesses in the ongoing case facing lawyer Paul Gicheru, who was used by the Deputy President to bribe, intimidate and in the worse scenario kill prosecution witnesses.
Already, talk is rife the prosecution was contemplating filing an application for a sealed warrant of arrest against Ruto to face witness interference charges alongside Gicheru.
If the prosecution files such an application and it is granted, there is a likelihood of Ruto been arrested, with the most ideal place being UK, which is a strong backer of the court.
But that aside, Ruto is set to visit US and UK where he will hold high-level meetings with government officials, elected leaders, global policy think tanks and Kenyans in the Diaspora.
According to a local daily, the Deputy President will attend an event at Carnegie Africa Conversation on Politics and Policy at Georgia University on March 2 at 5pm.
The forum will be chaired by Karen Bass, the chair of the US House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights.
The event will be moderated by Carnegie Endowment International Peace Africa Programme director Zainab Usman and Ken Opalo, a political scientist at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service.
On March 4, the DP will meet Kenyans at Mt Calvary Baptist, in Washington, and then travel to the UK to deliver a speech at Kings College in London.
The US-UK trip will be a political tour which is a departure from his private visits since the beginning of the second term.
Since 2018, Ruto has been to Italy, UK, United Arab Emirates (UAE, Uganda and Zanzibar.
The Italy trip was the only official visit that focused on agriculture and was business-related.
In February 2019, Ruto spoke
at London’s Chatham House.
Already, Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Ambassador Macharia Kamau has confirmed Ruto was cleared to travel.
Last August, Ruto was blocked from flying to Uganda after waiting for five hours at Wilson Airport for clearance.
Ruto and his team had arrived at Wilson Airport ready for the trip but were advised to seek clearance from the Head of Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet Joseph Kinyua.
Eventually, his entourage that had MPs Ndindi Nyoro), Benjamin Tayari and Oscar Sudi traveled without him.
In December 2019, Ruto was hosted by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni at his Nakasero State House but it was not clear what they discussed in the three-hour meeting.
On the same day, Ruto presided over the groundbreaking ceremony of the William Ruto Institute of African Studies building at Makerere University.
In 2019, Ruto’s trip to the US and Canada was cancelled. Then, Ruto’s director of communication David Mugonyi said the trip was cancelled because of “tight scheduling challenges” as Ruto’s foreign tours were coinciding with those of President Kenyatta’s.
As Ruto plans to travel, a major decision will be made by political parties under the Azimio la Umoja movement when they convene in Nairobi starting today to ratify decisions that will see them endorse ODM leader Raila Odinga for the presidency.
On Friday, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party is expected to throw its weight behind the opposition chief whom it competed against in the 2017 elections.
Opening the series of significant political events will be retired President Mwai Kibaki’s Party of National Unity (PNU) which is set to hold a National Delegates Conference today to ratify a resolution to join Azimio.
The party is currently headed by Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya.
Jubilee will hold its NDC on Friday at Nairobi’s Kenyatta International Conference Centre while Raila’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) will convene its National Governing Council meeting at Cooperative College in Karen.
It is widely expected that Raila will grace the Jubilee NDC.
ODM supporters will on Saturday hold their NDC at Kasarani Stadium ahead of their joint rally with Jubilee in Nairobi’s Kamukunji grounds on Sunday during which Raila is expected to be crowned the Azimio coalition presidential candidate.
There is also talk that Jubilee might expel Ruto from the party which will be followed by demands of his resignation as Deputy President.
Why the Deputy President chose to leave the country at a time he is facing his waterloo has left even his ardent supporters confused.
But what is not in doubt is that Ruto is having a hard time, and this time round only a miracle would save him.
At the ICC, the prosecution is seeking to redeem the image of the court by summoning Ruto and charging him with witness bribery and killing.
This will be followed by the revival of his case on charges of crimes against humanity which might see him jailed for life.
Indeed, while terminating the case facing him and Sang, the judges were firm that witnesses were either, killed, intimidated or bribed, and hence left the room open for the prosecutor to reopen the case should there be new evidence.
The man from Sugoi village must watch his steps as his waterloo is near.