William Kipchirchir Samoei arap Ruto is a Kenyan politician who has held significant positions in Kenyan politics, including serving as the fifth president of Kenya since September 13, 2022. Prior to becoming president, Ruto was the first elected deputy president of Kenya from 2013 to 2022, a historic role as previous officeholders were appointed Vice Presidents. He has also served in various cabinet positions, including Minister for Home Affairs, Minister of Agriculture, and Minister for Higher Education.
Born on December 21, 1966, in Sambut village, Kamagut, Uasin Gishu County, Kenya, to Daniel Cheruiyot and Sarah Cheruiyot, Ruto comes from the Kalenjin people of the Rift Valley Province.
Ruto's educational journey began at Kamagut Primary School, followed by Kerotet Primary School, where he completed his Certificate of Primary Education (CPE). He then attended Wareng Secondary School in Uasin Gishu County, where he completed his Ordinary Level education, and later Kapsabet High School in Nandi County for his Advanced Level education.
He continued his academic pursuits at the University of Nairobi, where he graduated in 1990 with a BSc in Botany and Zoology. Ruto furthered his studies with a Master of Science (MSc) in Plant Ecology at the same university. He faced challenges during his Ph.D. pursuit at the University of Nairobi but eventually completed and graduated on December 21, 2018, with a Ph.D.
Ruto authored several papers during his academic career, including one titled "Plant Species Diversity and Composition of Two Wetlands in the Nairobi National Park, Kenya."
Ruto's early involvement in campus activities included active participation in the Christian Union and serving as the Chairman of the University of Nairobi's choir. Through his church activities, he crossed paths with President Daniel arap Moi, who introduced him to politics during the 1992 general elections.
His political career officially began when he served as the treasurer of the YK'92 campaign group, which aimed to secure the re-election of President Moi in 1992. Ruto's involvement in politics grew, and he later won a parliamentary seat in the 1997 general election for the Eldoret North constituency. He gained favor with Moi, becoming the KANU Director of Elections.
Over the years, Ruto held various positions within KANU, including Secretary General, and was a key figure in the opposition's victory in the 2005 referendum on a new constitution. However, he faced challenges within the party when he declared his intention to vie for the presidency in the 2007 general election. Ruto eventually expressed support for Raila Odinga, who won the ODM presidential nomination.
After the disputed 2007 presidential election, Kenya experienced political turmoil, and Kibaki and Odinga agreed to form a power-sharing government. In this government, Ruto served as the Minister for Agriculture and continued to represent the Eldoret North constituency in parliament.
Ruto faced international scrutiny when he was indicted to stand trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for his alleged involvement in Kenya's 2007/2008 political violence. However, the ICC case faced challenges, including the withdrawal of key prosecution witnesses, and charges against Ruto were dropped in April 2016.
Ruto's political journey continued as he joined forces with Uhuru Kenyatta to form the Jubilee alliance for the 2013 presidential election, with Ruto as the running mate. They were declared the winners in the 2013 election, and Ruto became the Deputy President of Kenya.
In the 2017 Kenyan general election, Ruto was re-elected as Deputy President under the Jubilee Party. He later ran for the presidency in the 2022 election, representing the United Democratic Alliance (UDA). Despite allegations of electoral fraud, he was declared the winner and inaugurated as the fifth president of Kenya on September 13, 2022.
Throughout his political career, Ruto has been involved in various controversies, including land grabbing allegations and his ICC trial, which ultimately did not lead to his conviction. He is married to Rachel Chebet and has six children. Ruto is known for his evangelical Christian faith and has been actively involved in the Africa Inland Church. Additionally, he has a chicken farm and a chapel at his residence in the Karen suburb of Nairobi.
DATE OF BIRTH: 21ST DECEMBER, 1966
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PLACE OF BIRTH: Kamagut