William Samoei Ruto a matter of hours from Ph.D.

Deputy President William Ruto attends a past graduation ceremony at St. Paul's Nyabururu Teachers Training College in May 2018. [File, Standard]
In less than 24 hours, it will be a triple celebration for Deputy President William Kipchirchir Samoei Ruto.

Ruto will be conferred with a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Plant Ecology. Friday December 21 will also be his 52nd birthday. It will also be Ruto and Rachel 27th wedding anniversary. 

DP William Ruto with wife Rachel. [Photo, Courtesy]

This means that Ruto who calls himself 'hustler' will now be officially addressed as “Doctor”.

Ruto has been pursuing the doctorate since 2012 at the University of Nairobi. He submitted his thesis titled Influence of human activities on land use changes on environmental quality of riparian ecosystems: A case study of Saiwa Swamp watershed, Western Kenya' in September 2018.

Deputy President William Ruto and his supervisor Professor Jenesio Kinyamario when he presented his PhD progress report to the Director of School of Biological Sciences, University of Nairobi. [File, Standard]

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As required by the Commission for University Education, the DP published his work in academically-reputable journals, in his case, the International Journal of Research in Environmental Science and the Asian Journal of Water, Environment and Pollution.

He submitted the thesis in September, six years after his project was approved in August 2012. He defended his thesis on October 2 and his research was approved the following day.

Ruto started his schooling at Kerotet Primary School before joining Wareng Secondary School for his O’Levels. He proceeded for his A’levels at Kapsabet Boys in Nandi.

Ruto holds a Bachelor's degree in Botany and Zoology from the University of Nairobi. He graduated in 1990 and a Masters in Plant Ecology in 2011.

Mr Ruto was earlier set to graduate for his doctorate two years ago.

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So, why did the DP not graduate in 2016?

The second in command admitted that he failed to meet some of the requirements and standards set before being conferred with a doctoral degree.

At the time, he said, "I urge all colleges to observe set standard and award certificates to students purely on merit."

In a Tweet, he added, "As a Ph.D. student, I have subjected myself to that standard. I was due to graduate … but I can't because of requirements.”

In 2016, Ruto presided over a graduation ceremony at Daystar University as a chief guest.

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Critics said he made an academic faux pas by donning a doctoral gown.

However, starting tomorrow, Ruto will be free to don the doctoral gown as he pleases.

One is not allowed to wear a doctoral gown if they are not one.

According to data at the Ministry of Education, Kenya has less than 10,000 Ph.D. holders. Only 369 students graduated in 2017. 

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