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26 most unforgettable Ruto moments of 2023

26 most unforgettable Ruto moments of 2023

Pulse Picks features President William Ruto's most unforgettable moments of 2023

President William Ruto admitted to firing former Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti during a media interview on January 4, 2023.

Ruto made chilling revelations about extrajudicial killings and expressed regret over the death of about 200 Kenyans due to security officers' excesses.

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He mentioned having information about bodies disposed of in a container within a police station and criticized the criminal justice system for being used to settle political scores.

President William Ruto has announced the birth of his grandchild, born to his son Nick Ruto and his wife Evelyn Chemutai.

The good news was shared during an inter-denominational thanksgiving service in Nanyuki. President Ruto expressed his gratitude to the people of Laikipia for giving his son a wife and supporting the union.

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President William Ruto's wedding ring briefly became the subject of conversation during a joint media interview at State House on January 4, 2023.

Ruto explained that he did not wear his wedding ring because he had been rushed to the interview and forgot to put it on. He stated that the wedding ring he wore during the interview was a replacement after the original ring became worn out.

He and his wife, Rachel, had purchased the original rings for Sh700 from businessman Nagin Pattni when they got married in 1991. However, his ring eventually became worn out, and it took Rachel a while to get a replacement.

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President William Ruto defended his daughter Charlene Ruto after she faced criticism for implying that there was an office of the first daughter.

In a joint media interview at State House, the president said that there was no provision in the Constitution for the office Charlene mentioned and that her remarks were out of excitement.

He added that Charlene was just being a child and that sometimes she doesn't know when to separate between him being the President of Kenya and him being her father. Charlene later issued a statement clarifying that the office of the first daughter was a private entity and not a public office funded by Kenyan taxpayers.

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President William Ruto turned away three Principal Secretaries who arrived late for a Cabinet meeting he was chairing.

The meeting took place at the Mount Kenya Safari Club on January 6, 20231. The latecomers arrived after the President had checked in and settled down for the meeting, which started at 7:00 a.m.

President Ruto reprimanded the Cabinet Secretaries for tagging along a delegation of their staffers, including Principal Secretaries, and directed them to foot the expenses incurred by their staff, including accommodation and meals1. He emphasized that he would not tolerate laxity in his administration

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President Ruto has expressed his opposition to the Supreme Court's ruling allowing members of the LGBTQ+ community to form associations, stating that it is unacceptable in Kenya.

In his speech during the launch of the second phase of the Hustler Fund, Ruto emphasized that the country's customs, traditions, and constitution should be respected, and same-sex marriages should not be allowed.

He also assured the gathering that the beliefs of the LGBTQ+ community would not be promoted in Kenya and encouraged religious leaders to mould the country's children to avoid losing them to these beliefs.

President William Ruto introduced his plan to build affordable housing units by making it compulsory for Kenyans to contribute 1.5% of their salaries for the project.

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Despite resistance from many Kenyans, the National Assembly passed the Finance Act 2023 which contained the proposal.

The housing levy was challenged in court and declared unconstitutional by the High Court.

High Court Judges Christine Meoli, Lawrence, and David Majanja gave their judgement on November 28, 2023, and suspended the implementation of the judgement until January 10, 2024, to give the government time to appeal.

President William Ruto described Pastor Paul Mackenzie of the Good News International church as a terrorist who used religion to advance his unusual ideologies. He issued orders against him and called for his prosecution, saying that Mackenzie belonged in jail.

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Ruto instructed the agencies concerned to investigate the church and get to the root cause of the activities of “people who are using religion to advance weird unacceptable ideology in Kenya that is causing unnecessary loss of life.”

The head of state also called for the prosecution of any religious leaders who influence their followers against the tenets of the constitution of Kenya.

President William Ruto and his Deputy, Rigathi Gachagua, struggled to participate in the Maghrib prayers during an Iftar dinner with Muslims at KICC in Nairobi.

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The video of the two leaders attempting to perform the prayers alongside other Muslim faithful went viral, eliciting mixed reactions from Kenyans.

Some questioned the appropriateness of their participation, while others viewed it as a demonstration of religious tolerance and respect for the Muslim community during the holy month of Ramadan.

Despite the mixed reactions, the video has provided some much-needed light relief in what has been a tense political environment in the country.

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President William Ruto of Kenya has attributed his significant weight loss to the rigorous nature of the 2022 political campaigns.

During a joint media interview, he acknowledged the impact of the intense political campaigns on his eating habits and exercise routine, emphasising the need for a proper diet plan and regular training to manage the pressures of his demanding role.

The president's weight loss had sparked concerns among Kenyans, who took to social media to speculate about his health. However, he assured the public that he has since prioritised his well-being and adopted healthier habits.

President William Ruto announced a new university funding model that will no longer fund public universities, starting from the 2023/2024 academic year.

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The old funding model led to a cash crunch for public universities, with the annual Sh54 billion funding budgeted for public universities being less than 50% of what they require.

The new funding model aims to provide more scholarships for needy students and fewer loans for able students, while also encouraging universities to raise additional resources and improve the quality of education

President William Ruto reassigned 7 principal secretaries, a day after he sacked Dr. Josephine Mburu, the PS for State Department for Public Health and Professional Standards over KEMSA mosquito net scandal

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On May 13, 2023, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga met with President William Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua for the first time in public since the 2022 hotly-contested elections.

The trio met at the funeral service of Mau Mau veteran, Mukami Kimathi, in Nyandarua. The warm reception attracted applause from the crowd cheered the three leaders

President William Ruto appointed the former Director of Public Prosecutions DPP Noordin Haji to be the Director General of the National Intelligence Service (NIS).

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Haji, who holds Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) and Master of Laws (LL.M) degrees from the University of Wales, Cardiff, and a second Masters Degree in National Security Policy with Merit (MNSPO) from the Australian National University, served as the Deputy Director Counter Organised Crime Unit of the National Intelligence Service before he was appointed the DPP.

President William Ruto found a new liking for Kaunda suits, a stylish attire popular among African leaders and politicians.

These suits, named after former Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda, feature a single-breasted design, three buttons, narrow lapels, short sleeves, and patch pockets on the front of a safari jacket, paired with matching pants.

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This departure from his usual style of official and smart casual wardrobe consisting of suits, blazers, shirts, and trousers attracted attention and sparked renewed interest in this unique fashion statement.

The shift in President Ruto's fashion choices was seen as a strategic move to revamp his wardrobe and present a pan-African image.

President William Ruto acknowledged the success of comedians Timothy Kimani alias Njugush and Eddie Butita during the Kenya National Drama Festival State Concert at State House.

He praised them for being among the most successful creatives in the country and earning more than his salary through their content.

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Ruto emphasized the government's commitment to supporting talented Kenyans in monetizing their content and earning a decent income.

Both Njugush and Butita are considered among the most successful comedians in Kenya due to their impact in the digital content creation space.

Kenyan President William Ruto wore a short-sleeved, button-up shirt with imprints of marijuana leaves during the rehabilitation of Tana Delta Irrigation Project, a day after he attended the Africa Heads of State Summit in Tanzania.

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President William Ruto has defended his frequent foreign trips, emphasizing that they are integral to his plan to create jobs in Kenya. He explained that these trips are aimed at entering into agreements with other countries to facilitate the creation of one million jobs, as promised during campaigns.

Ruto also highlighted that Kenyan workers are in high demand globally due to their skills and intelligence. He further outlined initiatives such as establishing ICT hubs and building a fiber optic network across the country to generate digital jobs.

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The president's justification for his foreign travel costs came in the midst of criticism and questioning of the trips' relevance and benefits to the taxpayer, especially at a time of increased taxes and inflation.

President William Ruto has responded to his nickname "Zakayo," which has been attributed to him by some Kenyans due to the various tax measures his government has implemented and supported.

The name "Zakayo" is Swahili for Zacchaeus, a biblical character who was a tax collector, and the nickname suggests that Ruto is perceived in a similar light by some Kenyans.

During a function in Murang'a, Ruto addressed the nickname, stating that he will continue to work hard to improve the lives of Kenyans and raise revenue to run the country.

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President William Ruto reprimanded members of the executive, including CS Moses Kuria and CS Kithure Kindiki, for arriving late to the signing of performance contracts at State House, Nairobi.

He demanded a written explanation for their tardiness and emphasized the importance of taking these contracts seriously.

Ruto reiterated that all government officials are obligated to fulfill the terms of their contracts, and failure to do so will lead to termination.

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He also challenged government officials to be well-informed about their respective departments, stating that lack of adequate knowledge about one's job is the highest level of incompetence.

President William Ruto initiated a plan to repeal the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) in Kenya and replace it with three different organizations in an effort to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

The plan, which was approved during a Cabinet meeting, involves the establishment of the Primary Healthcare Fund, Social Health Insurance Fund, and Emergency, Chronic and Critical Illness Fund.

These funds will be created after the passage of specific bills by the Parliament. The reorganization of the existing funds, which constitute the total health expenditure in the country, is aimed at achieving UHC.

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Kenyan President William Ruto drove himself to the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in a tiny electric car, breaching protocol and ditching his motorcade and security detail.

This move caused a stir on social media, with netizens giving their take on the president's actions.

State House Spokesperson Hussein Mohammed later released a statement explaining that Ruto chose to lead by example and show his commitment to adopting electric vehicles.

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President William Ruto was spotted wearing a Bulgari Octo Finissimo watch during the Nairobi International Trade Fair.

The luxury watch features an 18-karat rose gold case and bracelet, a brown lacquered dial with a sunray finish, and is incredibly thin, with a thickness of just 1.8mm.

The watch was launched in September 2022 and is priced at Sh7,714,000, making it a luxury item that only a few can afford.

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In addition to the watch, President Ruto owns a Stefano Ricci belt worth Sh392,000 and silk dress shirts worth Sh182,000 each. These items are known for their impeccable quality and add an additional touch of elegance to his outfit.

A photograph of President William Ruto in his office at State House Nairobi gained the attention of Kenyans on social media, as eagle-eyed netizens spotted a briefcase prominently placed on the president's desk with the label "N.I.S."

The acronym "N.I.S." is interpreted by many Kenyans to mean the National Intelligence Service (NIS), Kenya's primary intelligence agency.

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The image, captured on September 6, 2023, showed President Ruto preparing to head out for the final day of the Africa Climate Summit at KICC, Nairobi.

The conspicuous presence of the briefcase ignited intense speculation and discussion about its significance, with Kenyans expressing a mix of curiosity, surprise, and concern

President William Ruto has reshuffled his executive team, affecting his Cabinet, principal secretaries, and diplomats.

The reshuffle includes the expansion of the portfolio mandate of the Office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi to include the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs, the reconstitution and renaming of the Ministry of Public Service, Gender and Affirmative Action to the Ministry of Public Service, Performance and Delivery Management, and the renaming of the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage to the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife.

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The reshuffle also includes the establishment of a new ministerial portfolio as The Ministry of Gender, Culture, the Arts and Heritage, and the transfer of several principal secretaries to different dockets.

King Charles III of the United Kingdom apologized for the colonial sins committed against Kenyans during their struggle for independence in his speech at the State House banquet hosted by President William Ruto in Nairobi.

The King's speech expressed gratitude for the warm welcome and highlighted the special connection between the United Kingdom and Kenya.

He praised Kenya's efforts in addressing modern challenges, such as climate change and biodiversity loss, commending the country's leadership in hosting the Africa Climate Summit.

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