Deputy President William Ruto’s reputation as a public office-holder was jolted after a former Moi University student moved to court on February 1, 2017 seeking child support orders for a baby she claims to have born with Kenya’s second most powerful man.
In case number CC 164 of 2017 filed at the Children’s Court, the plaintiff wants the court to penalise the deputy president for abuse of office and child neglect.
In documents seen by The Nairobian, Ruto, a born again Christian, is accused of neglecting the child, a product of a romantic affair that resulted in the birth of the baby girl on March 6, 2006 at Mediheal Hospital in Uasin Gishu County.
An affidavit sworn by the plaintiff, now a resident of Nairobi, details how from a casual meeting, the two developed a romantic relationship, with the student frequently invited to spend nights and weekends with the DP in his house in Eldoret town.
“In the year 2005, while working at Uasin Gishu High School as a receptionist, a mutual friend introduced me to the Defendant (William Ruto). The Defendant was then serving as Member of Parliament for Eldoret North Constituency. The defendant then pursued me with various propositions for a romantic relationship, and owing to my gullibility as a young and naïve student, I acquiesced to the advances.
Out of the romantic relationship between myself and the defendant, I conceived and on March 6, 2006, I delivered a beautiful baby girl at Mediheal Hospital,” she says in the affidavit.
The affidavit further reads:
“With the Defendant’s consent, we named our daughter... Shortly after, the Defendant gave me assurances that he would take parental responsibility over our daughter and promised to sufficiently provide for her and I.”
In the absence of support and citing her age of innocence, the plaintiff argues that since Ruto is a
“state officer within the meaning assigned to the term State Officer under Article 73 of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010, and as such, he is enjoined to exercise the authority conferred upon him as the Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya in a manner: that demonstrates respect for the people, brings honour to the nation and dignity to the office, and promotes public confidence in the integrity of the office.”
Initially, the DP provided the requisite support, but upon ascending to a higher position, he neglected his parental responsibilities only acting when threatened with legal action, the plaintiff said.
In some of the photos attached to the affidavit, the girl is captured being taken to various destinations, including school, on a boda boda.
Without his support, the mother of the 11-year old says she has been forced to do odd jobs to support her daughter after the DP stopped supporting her since 2013.
“The defendant has since becoming the Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya stopped sending us any money or sends only when I have threatened to go to court and when he does send any money, the payment is irregular and wholly inadequate and hence the necessity of these proceedings,” she says.
According to entries in Birth Certificate No.360317, the father of the child is indicated as William Ruto Kipchirchir. The names of the girl and mother are also on the certificate, but we cannot disclose their details for legal reasons and to protect the minor and her mother from public scrutiny and possible harassment.
Through lawyer Gitobu Imanyara, the graduate of Moi University pleads with the Children’s Court to order the deputy president to provide for the upkeep of his daughter. The plaintiff further states in the affidavit that since, 2013, only once did she receive Sh40,000 sent to her by the DP through his aide.
The woman accepted the money “on a ‘without prejudice’ basis.” She accepted the money on the advice of her lawyers after the DP’s lawyers had been notified in a letter dated December 2, 2013. A follow up letter dated December 11 did not draw any response from the defendant, she says.
After, the deputy president or his lawyers failed to respond to further correspondence seeking support, and a letter sent to Ruto’s lawyers, Katwa & Kemboy Advocates dated January 23, 2017, Imanyara says he has “mandatory instructions to commence proceedings for child support and other reliefs from your client H.E William Samoei Ruto and shall file those proceedings on Monday 30 January 2017 unless before that time there is a satisfactorily and acceptable compliance to our client’s demand set out in our letter of December 2, 2013.”
The correspondence between Imanyara and Katwa Kigen, for the Deputy President, suggests the girl and/or her mother were at some point threatened with unspecified consequences if the lady moved to court. Imanyara says that after he took up the case, he advised the lady to complete her studies first lest the matter affected her adversely.
“She completed last year and she is now ready to face him. I had warned Katwa that if anything happened to her while she was in university, I would expose them,” the lawyer, a former MP for Imenti Central, says.
“I am currently struggling to educate our baby single-handedly despite the fact that the defendant, as the Deputy President, is a man of means who is able to provide for his daughter with a decent house, quality education and healthcare, clothes, as well food. Unless the defendant is compelled by this honourable court to maintain the minor herein, the said minor will continue being subjected to un-necessary suffering due to lack of the most basic necessities, to which she is entitled from her parents,” the lady pleads in the affidavit.