Born William Kipchirchir Samoei arap Ruto in 1966, the man who wants to be
He began schooling at the Sambut primary school before joining Eldoret’s
He was admitted to
At University, Ruto a staunch
Close friends say it was exposure to the glamour of State House in those formative days that inspired the young man to want to be president one day, some day.
While in college, Moi would request Ruto to accompany him in trips overseas. The first such trip was to
On leaving college and having ‘tasted’ proximity to power, there was no turning back even as Ruto was hired as a temporary teacher at first at Sirgoi secondary school and later at Kamagut secondary, both in the North Rift.
He quit teaching and registered a business company in
In early 1990s, he established a company, African Venture Tours and Hotels, which gave him the opportunity to meet his like-minded. They included Cyrus Jirongo, the late Victor Kebenei, Sammy Kogo Boit and Sam Nyamweya. Others were the late Pyman Onyango and Lazarus Amayo. The group finally introduced him to the all important contacts, the Moi siblings Gideon and June. By now he was halfway where he wanted to be.
Come 1992 election, Ruto naturally found himself in the core team that founded the Kanu campaign machine, the Youth for Kanu ’92. The YK ’92 tale about big money, fast riches, and much power is well documented. However, the honeymoon did not last long.
As soon as Kanu was back in power, Ruto and indeed, the entire YK ’92 fraternity were punted to outer edges of power and privilege. But by 1997 election, Ruto & co. had their revenge when they made their debut to parliament as “independents” within Kanu.
Then he teamed up with Kipruto Kirwa of Cherangany constituency, John Sambu of Mosop and Cyrus Jirongo of Lugari to become the thorn-in-the-flesh within Kanu.
But somehow, along the way in year 2000, they changed tune to become chief defenders of their faith.
Ruto was subsequently appointed Assistant Minister for Provincial Administration and Internal Security and made history in being the only assistant minister allowed to attend cabinet meetings.
He quickly eclipsed power broker, Mark Too, and soon became Moi’s point-man in selling Project Uhuru in Rift Valley province. By then he had been promoted to a full minister and posted to the Home Affairs office.
In 2003 Kanu was ousted from power, Ruto stuck with Uhuru and Moi to ward off challenge for Kanu leadership from a faction led by Keiyo South MP, Nicholas Biwott.
The tables turned only when he and Uhuru differed with Moi over Kanu associating with the new kid on the block, ODM-Kenya.