William Kipchirchir Samoei Arap Ruto, the fifth in office since September 2022, is a Kenyan politician and the country’s president. He was born on December 21, 1966. Before pursuing his presidential aspirations, Ruto held various ministerial positions while serving as Kenya’s deputy president from 2013 to 2022.
Early Life and Education
William Ruto was born on December 21, 1966, in the home of Mr. Daniel Cheruiyot and Mrs. Sarah Cheruiyot in Sambut Village, Kamagut, Uasin Gishu County.
Ruto attended Kerotet Primary School before moving on to Wareng Secondary School and Kapsabet Boys High School in Nandi County for his secondary education.
He continued his education by enrolling in the University of Nairobi’s Botany and Zoology programs. He earned a bachelor of science in each discipline in 1990. He applied to the University of Nairobi’s Ph.D. program, and following several years of challenges, he received his degree on December 21, 2018, from the institution.
When he was still an undergraduate, Ruto was an active member of the Christian Union and held the position of chairman of the choir at the University of Nairobi.
A number of his publications, including Plant Species Diversity and Composition of Two Wetlands in the Nairobi National Park, Kenya, were also published.
He met President Daniel Arap Moi, during the church activities on campus, and he later introduced him to politics in the 1992 general elections.
Between 1990 and 1992, Ruto worked as a teacher in Kenya’s North Rift region. During his time at the school, he also led the African Inland Church (AIC) Choir in the area.
When president Moi was re-elected in 1992, Ruto was appointed treasurer of the YK’92 campaign committee, which marked the start of his political career. From there, he discovered the fundamentals of Kenyan politics. After the 1992 elections, President Moi demobilized YK’92, and Ruto attempted to compete with KANU (at the time, Kenya’s ruling party) for various positions but was unsuccessful.
Member of Parliament
For a parliamentary seat in the 1997 general election, Ruto defeated Uasin Gishu as well as the incumbent, Reuben Chesire.
Following this, Moi decided to favor him and choose him to be the director of elections for the KANU. He was appointed an assistant minister in the Home Affairs (Interior) ministry in 2002 as a result of his ardent backing for Uhuru Kenyatta, Moi’s favored replacement. When some government ministers left to join the opposition party, he was later appointed to join the full cabinet. Even though KANU lost the election, he still held a seat in parliament.
In 2005, Ruto was chosen to serve as the KANU’s Secretary General, and Uhuru Kenyatta was chosen to serve as its Chairman. In 2005, KANU opposed Kenya’s holding of a constitutional referendum. Some members of the ruling NARC coalition government, who left their positions as KANU ministers in 2002 to join the LDP, joined forces with KANU to oppose the proposed constitution because they were angry that President Kibaki had not ratified a pre-election MoU on power-sharing and the creation of a new position known as prime minister.
They formed a new group named Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) which originated from the symbol of “No” which is an Orange Since the symbol. Ruto was part of the top, leaders. He reinforces his voter base in the Rift Valley Province. ODM was victorious in the referendum.
Ruto formally announced his intention to run for president in the following general election in January 2006. (2007). Former president Moi was among several in his party, KANU, who denounced his statement. He was nominated as the Orange Democratic Movement’s (ODM) presidential candidate at this point, and when the election took place on September 1, 2007, he finished in third place with 368 votes, trailing Raila Odinga (2,656) and Musalia Mudavadi (391). By this point, ODM had become a political party. When Odinga wins, he will support him wholeheartedly. On October 6, 2007, Kibaki resigned from his position as secretary general of the KANU with the backing of Uhuru Kenyatta.
The presidential election ended in a stalemate took place on December 2007. Kenya’s electoral commission declared Kibaki the winner, but Raila and ODM claimed the victory. Mwai Kibaki was sworn in as the president immediately. This led to a violent political crisis. Kibaki and Odinga agreed to form a power-sharing government. The Cabinet was named on 13 April 2008 and sworn in on 17 April, Ruto was appointed as Minister for Agriculture. He was also a Member of Eldoret North’s Parliament from 2008 to 4 March 2013.
Ruto encountered numerous difficulties with this, but in April 2016, the Court withdrew charges against him. Ruto is currently on trial at the ICC alongside others for their participation in Kenya’s political violence in 2007 and 2008.
Ruto and Sally Kosgei switched positions on April 21, 2010, and he was moved from the Agriculture Ministry to the Higher Education Ministry. Later, on August 24, 2011, he resigned from his ministerial position but kept his seat in parliament. In order to create the Jubilee alliance for the 2013 presidential election, Ruto worked with Uhuru Kenyatta.
On October 6, 2014, President Uhuru Kenyatta appointed Ruto to fill in for the president while he was abroad in The Hague. From October 6 to October 8, 2014, Ruto served as Kenya’s acting president.
With 54% of the total votes cast, Uhuru and Ruto were declared the winners in August 2017. However, the Kenyan Supreme Court invalidated the outcome, and a new election was held in October 2017. With 98% of the total votes cast, they were re-elected. The outcomes of this second election were upheld by the Supreme Court.
On December 2020, Ruto announced that he was joining the newly established United Democratic Alliance party. At the second round of the 2022 presidential debate, he was the only contender present.
Ruto, who defeated Raila Odinga of the Azimio La Umoja party in the general election held on August 9 by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission directed by Wafula Chebukati, was declared the victor on August 15, 2022. Against Odinga, who garnered 48.85% of the valid votes cast, he won with 50.49%.
Odinga petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn the election outcome declared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission. Because there was insufficient proof to support Odinga’s accusations that the election had been manipulated, the Supreme Court judges dismissed his lawsuit on September 5 and declared Ruto the election’s victor. Even though he vehemently disagreed with the Supreme Court’s ruling, Odinga stated he respected it.
Ruto has been reported severally in land grabbing which includes several Kenyan state corporations embroiled in endless litigation over the land grabs. Many media and many politicians and activists often describe him as “Arap-Mashamba” (the word being a portmanteau of the son of lands).
Weston hotel land
Ruto has been embroiled in a land-grab controversy over his enigmatic purchase of the Weston Hotel property, which has been the target of public backlash from various state enterprises in Kenya, the property’s original owner. The Standard claims that the state-run Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) was conned into giving over the property on which the Weston hotel was constructed. A different state agency, the meteorological department, gave alternate plots of land to KCAA, the land’s owner, in 2001.
KCAA did not occupy the alternative piece of land upon which Ruto’s Weston hotel was built. KCAA said a powerful cartel, working in the lands ministry was involved in intrigue to relinquish the same piece of land with several land ministry officers part of those that intrigued.
In January 2019, National Lands Commission said Ruto need to pay for the land of 0.773 acres opposite Wilson Airport upon which the Weston hotel was built. In February 2019, Ruto said the land where the Weston hotel was built was acquired illegally. That he had no knowledge of the matter. He wanted to pay the state agency for the land in August 2020 but KCAA rejected the compensation and requested the demolition of the hotel because it was acquired in a fraudulent act.
The KCAA claimed that it had illegally collaborated with businesses including Priority Ltd. and Monene Investments and that property had been allotted for the development of its headquarters and flight lanes. Later that month, Ngunjiri Wambugu, another lawmaker, denigrated all prior instances of stolen property in Kenya since the parties involved were eager to make amends. Due to a 1.2 billion shillings contract they had with Ruto’s Weston Hotel, the KCB Bank supported Ruto in the court case in December 2020.
KPC Ngong forest land scandal
In 2004, Ruto was accused of defrauding another state corporation Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) of huge amounts of money through land deals. He was exonerated in 2011 but they come back to the case in 2020, due to a disagreement between him and President Uhuru Kenyatta and which lead the President to push the anti-corruption war, the police re-opened investigations in the case.
For unlawfully taking away the victim’s land during the post-election violence in June 2013, Ruto was ordered by a court to pay the victim of the post-election violence of 2007–2008 a sum of 5 million shillings. In Uasin Gishu, the land was reclaimed from him in the same ruling. Ruto was charged with trespassing on Adrian Muteshi’s 100-acre parcel of land in Uasin Gishu after the area was secured during the 2007–2008 post–election unrest. Ruto disputed the court’s order to pay the 5 million shilling fine in February 2014 and then withdrew it in 2017, even though Adrian Muteshi passed away in October 2020 at the age of 86, with no confirmed cause of death.
Joseph Murumbi’s 900-acres
In an article published by Daily Nation in October 2019 accusing Ruto of stealing 900 acres of land from former vice president Joseph Murumbi, Ruto claimed the article was sponsored and labeled it fake news. In the same month, human rights lobbyist Trusted Society of Human Rights Alliance began an inquiry into the 900-acre plot of land that once belonged to Murumbi, another former vice president.
The land was reportedly used as collateral for a loan that Murumbi had defaulted on with the state corporation AFC.
After Murumbi repaid the loan owed to the state corporation, AFC acquired possession of the land that was sold to Ruto.
Jacob Juma assassination allegations
It was widely stated in Kenyan media that Ruto was involved in Jacob Juma’s murder. Prior to his murder in Nairobi, late businessman Jacob Juma used to be critical of an anti-corruption crusader who was against Ruto and the Jubilee government.
Jacob Juma said in a tweet from December 2015 that Ruto was driven to kill him. Jacob Juma was fatally murdered on Ngong Road in May 2016. During Jacob Juma’s funeral that same month, Cyrus Jirongo, a former Lugari MP and close friend of Ruto, claimed that Jacob Juma had hit him for an inexplicable reason. Jirongo requested that the assassination be looked into based on the assault.
Later in the month, Ruto threatened to sue Jirongo for linking him to the assassination. According to Jirongo, the same assassins were involved in the murder of Meshack Yebei, another murdered prospective defense witness in the ICC trial against Ruto.
In June 2016, it was reported by the Canadian newspaper Financial Post and the Kenyan newspaper The Standard that Jacob Juma was the director of a Canadian company (Pacific Wildcat) whose license to traverse $2 billion worth of minerals in Kwale county in Kenya was canceled just after the Jubilee government took over. Jacob Juma claimed the mining minister, Najib Balala, was demanding a bribe to re-issue the license to the company.
This cancellation really affected Jacob Juma’s personal finances, and it was reported he was borrowing money. He started criticizing the government after the mining license that eventually caused his company to lose money had been transferred to a new company and the Kenyan government received a 50% stake in the new company for free. Jacob Juma promised the board of the Canadian company Pacific Wildcat that he would fight bureaucratic delays as well as the corruption that would stand in the way of getting the mining license. A high court ruling in Kenya said the Mining minister was right to cancel the license of the Canadian company.
In October 2016, Boniface Mwangi a photojournalist also said Ruto know about the assassination. Ruto sued him for defamation. His lawyer said the claims by the activist had lowered Ruto’s standing among Kenya’s “high thinking” people.
It was reported in December 2016, that one of the personnel from Ruto’s office also link Ruto to the assassination by giving a letter to Mwangi to help with his defamation case against Ruto by providing details of the murder by persons in Ruto’s office. In the same month, the personnel was to be charged in court for extortion. The arrested personnel from Ruto’s office later went for a mental check-up after he further claimed that he was told to lie by Mwangi against Ruto that he was involved in Jacob Juma’s murder.
Mwangi raised alarm on February 2017, that Ruto wanted to kill him the way he murdered Jacob Juma.
Ruto has been accused several times of corruption and land grabbing. Raila Odinga, Ruto’s former associate has accused him of sources of the fund he raised on regular basis. Most of his associates have been forced to resign due to corruption scandals. He was also accused of grabbing land from a primary school in Nairobi and land meant for a sewerage treatment plant in Ruai, Nairobi. Ruto has denied these allegations.
International Criminal Court summons
In December 2010, International Criminal Court declared Ruto and six others wanted, over their involvement in the 2007–8 electoral violence. He was accused of planning crimes against supporters of President Kibaki’s Party of National Unity and charged with three counts of crimes against humanity, which are murder, the second one being the forcible transfer of population, and persecution.
A case that involved Ruto and Joshua Sang was confirmed by ICC on January 23, 2012, which also involved Uhuru Kenyatta, Francis Muthaura, Henry Kosgey, and Major General Mohammed Hussein Ali. He explained to the US government that the Kiambaa church that got fired on January 1, 2008 after the 2007 general election was coincidental.
The Waki Commission said in 2009 that “the incident which captured the attention of both Kenyans and the world was a deliberate burning of live people, mostly Kikuyu women, and children huddled together in a church” in Kiambaa on 1 January 2008.
In April 2016, the case was abandoned by the International Criminal Court.
On 28 July 2017, It was reported on 28 July 2017, that an unknown gang attacked his house and armed the police officer on duty guarding the residence. He wasn’t at home during the incident, as he had left hours earlier for a campaign rally in Kitale.
After 48 hours Kenya police chief Joseph Boinnet announced that the situation is under control and the attacker was shot dead.
Ruto married Rachel Chebet in 1991 and their children’s names are Nick Ruto, June Ruto, Charlene Ruto, Stephanie Ruto, George Ruto, Nadia Cherop Ruto, Abby Ruto
Ruto owns a chicken farm in his home village of Sugoi, he also owns Weston hotel and other properties in Kenya.
William Ruto Net Worth
Ruto’s net worth is estimated to be about $400 million.