NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 9 – Known for his political intelligence and passionate ambition, William Ruto has against all odds propelled himself to be the Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya for the next five years.
The ultimate self made politician was born into poverty in the Rift Valley in Kamagut in 1966, where he sold peanuts on the Eldoret highway to supplement the family income.
Ruto started his political career soon after he graduated from the University of Nairobi with a general science degree with the Cyrus Jirongo-led Youth for Kenyan African National Union (KANU) ’92 that was used by Daniel arap Moi in bid to campaign for his re-election in that first multiparty elections.
After KANU’s wins, Moi appointed Ruto as Assistant Minister for Provincial Administration, and then Minister of Home Affairs.
Ruto supported Uhuru Kenyatta’s bid to lead the country in 2002 but later broke ranks following the party’s defeat joining former Prime Minister Raila Odinga in the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).
He resigned from his post as KANU Secretary General on October 6, 2007.
He amassed votes in the Kalenjin community during the election garnering significant support for ODM.
He later broke ranks with Odinga.
Due to the disputed presidential election, outgoing President Mwai Kibaki and Odinga agreed to form a power-sharing government.
In the coalition Cabinet named on April 13, 2008 Ruto was appointed Minister for Agriculture then later Minister for Higher Education in October 19, 2010 after his suspension over the maize scandal in his previous ministry.
He has been a Member of Parliament for Eldoret North constituency since 1997.
At university, he was a born again committed Christian and led the university Christian Union choir.
He graduated from the University of Nairobi in 1990 having attained a BSc and MSc in botany.
He had earlier attended Kerotet Primary School for his primary school education, Wareng Secondary School for his Ordinary Levels education and Kapsabet Boys, for his Advanced Levels.
William Samoei arap Ruto has amassed substantial wealth, owning Oseng properties limited and Orterter enterprises limited, among others.
He is the major shareholder in Amaco Insurance and his Karen home is said to be worth millions of shillings.