William Ruto: From campaign team treasurer to president
United Democratic Alliance’s Yellow flooded the streets of Kenya as the electorate rejoiced at the announcement of William Ruto as winner of Kenya’s presidential election. Loved by supporters for his youthful energy and his ‘hustling spirit’, the 55-year-old polled 7,176,141 votes ahead of opposition leader Raila Odinga who polled 6,942,93.
This is the first time Ruto will be contesting for the office. He had been serving as deputy president since 2013.
Who is William Ruto?
Born on December 21, 1966, in Sambut Village. Ruto earned a first degree in botany and zoology, an MSc in plant ecology and a PhD from the University of Nairobi. Ruto is married to Rachel Chebet, a Kenyan educator. They have six children together.
Ruto the Politician
For over two decades Ruto has been actively involved in politics. He started in 1992 as treasurer of Youths for Kanu, a YK’92 campaign group. He contested for his first political position – a seat in Parliament – in 1997. He won.
In 2006 he made his first attempt at the presidential ticket. He lost at the party level to Raila Odinga.
In 2008, he was appointed as Minister of Agriculture. Ruto later joined current president Uhuru Kenyatta to form the Jubilee Alliance towards the 2013 presidential election. The pair emerged victorious.
In December 2020 Ruto joined the newly formed United Democratic Alliance (UDA) and became the party’s presidential flag bearer.