William Rutto, 55, Kenya’s Deputy President for the past ten years, is contesting for the presidency of East Africa’s largest economy, Kenya.
Being the marginal favourite winner of the coming general elections in August, Ruto draws his inspiration from the late Julius Nyerere, the first President of Tanzania.
Ruto told The Economist that Julius Nyerere inspires him because he built a strong country that overcame trial differences. “Nyerere build something that we are struggling to build”, – Ruto said
Kenyan politics have long been trial and often violent. During the 1990s, the Kalenjin (those who speak a clutch of languages in the Rift Valley) killed hundreds of Kikuyu (Kenya’s largest tribe) to tilt the local electoral balance. Ethnic slaughter erupted again after a disputed election in 2007. More than 1,000 people died.
Mr Ruto, a Kalenjin who says he is building a national party, not a tribal one, may also be invoking Nyerere, the uniter, because of his own reputation as a divider.
Ruto wants to install Nyerere’s philosophy into Kenyans to heal the long tribal rifts and unify people to stir the country toward development.