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Who is President-Elect Dr. William Samoei Ruto

President-elect Dr. William Samoei Ruto was born on 21 December 1966 in Sambut village Kamagut, Uasin Gishu county.

He attended Kerotet primary school for his primary level, Wareng Secondary School for his Ordinary levels education, and proceeded to Kapsabet Boys High school for his Advanced levels.

He went on and received a BSc in zoology and botany from the University of Nairobi in 1990 and later enrolled in Masters in Plant Ecology and Ph.D. which he successfully completed.

Ruto entered the realm of politics in 1992 when he, together with the late former president Daniel Arap Moi, formed a youth group for KANU that was supposed to drum up support for president Moi in the 1992 elections. He served as the treasurer of the Youth of KANU.

Ruto was elected Member of Parliament for Eldoret North from 1997 to 2013 under the Kenya African National Union, KANU. He served as a minister for Home Affairs under Daniel Arap Moi’s administration from August to December 2002, Minister of Agriculture from 2008 to 2010, and Minister for Higher Education from April to October 2010.

His declaration in 2006 to vie for the presidency seat was condemned by some of his KANU colleagues including former president Moi. He sought the nomination of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) as its presidential candidate but he was placed third with 368 votes after Raila Odinga who gained 2,656 votes and Musalia Mudavadi who gained 391 votes. He expressed his support for Raila after the vote.

Ruto has faced many obstacles during his political career and has been accused of many wrongdoings. The International Criminal Court (ICC) pressed charges against him and several others including the outgoing president, Uhuru Kenyatta, over their involvement in the 2007/2008 post-election violence, but his prosecution was abandoned later on in April 2016.

In 2013, Ruto ran for the deputy presidency under the United Republican Party, becoming the running mate of Uhuru Kenyatta from The National Alliance TNA. He later won the deputy presidency again under the Jubilee party in the 2017 general elections.

Kenya Kwanza and United Democratic Alliance UDA endorsed Ruto as their presidential candidate on 15th March. He clinched a total of 7,176,141 votes in the August 9th polls but his opponents filed a petition to the supreme court challenging his win. The petition was however upheld paving way for Ruto to be sworn in as Kenya’s fifth president on 13th September this year.
By Cynthia Ochieng.

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