Ruto gets clearance from foreign affairs ministry to visit US, UK


DP William Ruto speaking at a past rally in Githunguri town. [George Njunge, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto will begin a 12-day tour of United States and United Kingdom starting Sunday.

Multiple sources confirmed the visit will include high-level meetings with government officials, elected leaders, global policy think tanks and Kenyans in the diaspora.

Details The Standard has seen show Ruto 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. Yesterday, Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Ambassador Macharia Kamau said Ruto had been 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.

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