Ruto Breaks Protocol During Prayer Meeting

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) greets his deputy William Ruto (right) during the Jamhuri Day celebrations at Uhuru Gardens, Nairobi on Sunday, December 12, 2021
    President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) greets his deputy William Ruto (right) during the Jamhuri Day celebrations at Uhuru Gardens, Nairobi on Sunday, December 12, 2021
    PSCU
  • Deputy President William Ruto broke protocol during the National Prayer Breakfast meeting by inviting Narc Kenya leader, Martha Karua, to address the attendees before President Uhuru Kenyatta made his remarks.

    While making his address at Safari Park hotel on Thursday, May 26, Ruto explained that he would have invited former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, to address the attendees, noting that Karua was at hand to represent him.

    Traditionally, the Deputy President is charged with the mandate of inviting the President as the final speaker, but Ruto strategically called on Karua in what can be interpreted as a clever political move.

    Karua is the running mate to Ruto's competitor, Raila Odinga in the August 9 presidential race.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto seated at separate tables during the National Prayer Breakfast on May 26, 2022.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto seated at separate tables during the National Prayer Breakfast on May 26, 2022.
    PSCU

    During the event, Uhuru and Ruto also broke tradition by sitting on separate tables.

    Uhuru shared his table with Chief Justice, Martha Karambu Koome, and Attorney General, Paul Kihara Kariuki, while Ruto was seated with National Assembly Speaker, Justin Muturi, and Senate Speaker, Ken Lusaka.

    Traditionally, the President shares the table with the deputy, the Chief Justice and the Attorney General or the Speakers of the two Houses of Parliament.

    Since their election in 2013, the two have always shared the table with the two Parliament Speakers.

    The failure by the two to share a table was a clear statement on how bad their relationship has deteriorated, with those close to the duo saying they do not see eye-to-eye.

    Amidst the fallout between the two leaders, religious leaders called for the reconciliation between the leaders stating that the unity of leaders was important as the country heads to the electioneering period.

    "We need to be leaders willing to sacrifice our ego, who are ready to forgive and who are aware that they are human and are bound to make mistakes and who do not look for super-perfection from other leaders," Nyeri Catholic Diocese Archbishop, Antony Muheria, stated.

    Consequently, a section of Kenyans took to social media to air their opinion over the sitting arrangement even as some wondered what actually caused the rift between the two leaders.

    "Even at the National Prayer Breakfast President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto cannot share the same table. The two leaders should find time and explain to the nation what happened to their political love," Alinur Mohamed tweeted.

    Previously, the differences between the two leaders have played out publicly with allies of the DP accusing the President of mistreating his deputy.

    During the final send-off of President Mwai Kibaki, a section of Kenyans to social media questioning the state of the relationship between the two as they did not shake hands during the national event.

    This is not the first time that the President has broken tradition during his second term. During Madaraka Day celebrations in 2021, Uhuru invited Raila Odinga to speak after he had begun making his remarks. 

    This was after the DP had made his remarks and invited the President to address the nation.

    Azimio La Umoja-One Kenya presidential candidate Raila Odinga (left) and his running mate, Martha Karua (right) at a photoshoot in May 2022
    Azimio La Umoja-One Kenya presidential candidate Raila Odinga (left) and his running mate, Martha Karua (right) at a photo shoot in May 2022
    Raila Odinga