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'Leave Charlene alone': Ruto on Office of the First Daughter

 President William Ruto’s daughter Charlene Ruto. [Courtesy]

President William Ruto has said his daughter, Charlene, was excited about being the child of a sitting president, and could have been misadvised when she referred to her role as that of the Office of the First Daughter.

The president’s daughter came under sharp criticism on December 13, 2022 when she introduced her delegation to Tanzania as members of staff at the Office of the First Daughter.

At the time, she was addressing delegates at the 2022 YouLead Summit held at the East African Community Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

President Ruto was on Wednesday, January 4, 2023 asked on what he thought about his daughter’s statement.

“Leave my daughter Charlene alone,” the president said during a joint media interview at State House, Nairobi.

“These are kids. They are just being children,” he added.

“You know very well that there is no office called Office of the First Daughter,” the president told NTV’s James Smart, who asked him the question about the said-office.

“This is a girl who is being a child, you know? She has this space, and maybe her colleagues are pushing her… telling her ‘maybe we could do this’, but you know, she is… she is okay,” said the president amid mild laughter.

“She is just being the daughter of William Ruto, and sometimes she doesn’t know when to separate between me being the President of Kenya, and me being her father,” said Ruto.

In a statement on December 14, 2022 after facing backlash for referring to the entity handling her diary as Office of the First Daughter, Charlene Ruto said she ran the office in her private capacity, and that it was not a public-funded office.

“The Office of the First Daughter is a private entity. It is neither a constitutional office, nor is it being funded by Kenyan taxpayers. It purely facilitates the activities and programmes run by myself,” Charlene Ruto said.

She further noted that the office amplifies the Kenyan youth’s voices in efforts to enable them get personal development opportunities.

“Through its independent structure and facilitators, the office has engaged various players across Kenya and beyond in line with some of its objectives of championing youth-based agenda and climate change advocacy,” said Charlene Ruto.

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