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Why DP Ruto did not attend Suluhu’s State House event

NATIONAL
By Brian Okoth | May 4th 2021

Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto. [File, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto did not attend the reception of Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu at State House, Nairobi, because he “wasn’t invited”, his aides say.

Emmanuel Tallam, the Communications Director at the DP’s Office, told The Standard that Ruto followed the televised proceedings from his Karen Residence Office.

On whether he knows why Ruto was not alerted of the visit, Tallam said: “Only State House can answer that.”

Unlike in July, 2015 when Ruto went to State House and met the then-visiting US Head of State Barack Obama, on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 the President’s principal assistant was a no-show at the Suluhu function.

Tallam said Dr. Ruto was “working at his Karen office” after missing out on the State House invite.

President Kenyatta and Ruto have not been in good political terms of late, with the Head of State accusing the DP of derailing the Jubilee agenda by focusing on the 2022 presidential election.

The Standard reached State House Spokesperson, Kanze Dena, for comment, but she was yet to respond by the time of publication.

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Suluhu is in Kenya for a two-day State visit.

The visiting President was received at the JKIA at 10:30am by Cabinet Secretaries Raychelle Omamo (Foreign Affairs) and Amina Mohamed (Sports).

“During the visit the Heads of State will hold bilateral talks aimed at strengthening the cordial relations between the two countries,” said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a press statement dated Monday, May 3.

Upon arrival at State House at around noon, Suluhu inspected a guard of honour and received a 21-gun salute.

She, thereafter, proceeded for bilateral meetings and consultations with Uhuru.

“President Kenyatta and the First Lady, Her Excellency Margaret Kenyatta, will host an official State Dinner for Her Excellency at State House,” said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“President Suluhu Hassan will also attend a session with executive women in business.”

The visiting Head of State is further expected to make an address at a joint sitting of Kenya’s Parliament and Senate.

“The State visit comes at a time when Kenya and Tanzania are working closely to deepen ties in the area of trade and people-to-people relations including the private sector, arts, culture, wildlife matters, tourism and cooperation at the continental and multilateral levels,” said the statement by Foreign Affairs ministry.

This is the second out-of-country visit Suluhu is making in less than a month. On April 11, she toured Uganda for a one-day State visit.

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