The head of Kenya’s election body on Monday declared William Ruto the winner of the country’s close-fought presidential election, despite several commissioners rejecting the results.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chairman Wafula Chebukati said Ruto had won almost 7.18 million votes (50.49 per cent) against 6.94 million (48.85 per cent) for his rival Raila Odinga in the August 9 vote.
Here are 10 things to know about Ruto:
1. Born December 21, 1966, in Sambut village, Kamagut, Uasin Gishu County in the country, Ruto had all his primary, secondary and tertiary education in Kenya. He bagged a Bachelor of Science in Botany and Zoology from the University of Nairobi, graduating in 1990. Ruto proceeded to obtain a Masters degree in Plant ecology, and graduated in 2011, topping it with a Doctorate degree from the University of Nairobi, and graduating on his birthday, December 21, 2018.
2. Ruto worked as a teacher in the North Rift region of Kenya from 1990 to 1992, where he was also the leader of the local African Inland Church Choir.
3. He began his political career as the treasurer of the YK’92 campaign group that lobbied for the re-election of President Daniel Moi in 1992. He was believed to have learnt about Kenyan politics from there and also accumulated some wealth.
4. Ruto became a Member of Parliament in 1998.
5. He was made Minister of Home Affairs in 2002 in the country and served for five months.
6. In January 2006, Ruto announced his intention to vie for the presidency in the 2007 Kenyan general election. This was said to have been met with condemnation from some of his colleagues including former President Moi. However, in the formation of the Cabinet in 2008 after the election was won, amid heated political crises, by Mwai Kibaki, Ruto was appointed the Minister for Agriculture.
7. Ruto was was among the people indicted to stand trial at the International Criminal Court for their involvement in Kenya’s 2007/2008 political violence.
8. Ruto also became the Eldoret North’s Member of Parliament from 2008 to March 4, 2013.
9. In the 2013 presidential election, Ruto was elected the Deputy President alongside President Uhuru Kenyatta and served till 2022. He served as the acting President of Kenya between October 5 and 8, 2014 while President Kenyatta was away at the Hague.
10. The 55-year-old is married to Rachel Chebet and they both have seven children.