Yesterday, Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto was ‘snatched’ off a private jet enroute to Uganda where he was due to make a visit.
Ruto’s camp said he was supposed to be in Uganda but cited his reason for the visit as “private”.
To confirm this, the flight manifest shows that Ruto was going to use a private chartered Cessna 560XL jet to fly to Uganda but he was intercepted and asked to seek clearance which never came.
Ruto’s communication secretary David Mugonyi expressed surprise at the “new rule.”
He said, “In all his travels, all these years, this has not happened.”
It is reported that Ruto was on his way to Uganda and arrived at Wilson Airport in time for his private flight. He was, however, told the plane could not take off until there is clearance.
Having waited for several hours and making frantic calls to President Kenyatta, Ruto and his entourage found failed to secure the clearance.
According to Ruto’s handlers, he later decided to return home after calling off the visit.
This was going to be Ruto’s second visit to Uganda in less than a month having been here on July 7 to lay a foundation for the multibillion Biological Drugs and mRNA Vaccine manufacturing facility at Matugga in Wakiso District together with President Museveni.
The planned visit came at a time as Kenya’s 2022 general election takes shape.
In 2015, Ruto campaigned for Museveni in Kapchorwa, striking a lifetime partnership with East Africa’s kingmaker.
“Young people must be at the forefront to vote for leadership that will guarantee peace and stability so we can build our economy, expand opportunities for young people so we eliminate poverty and create jobs,” Ruto said as he campaigned for Museveni in Kapchorwa.
Both Ruto and Museveni used the latter’s vehicle as they combed for votes in Kapchorwa.
Ruto had earlier arrived in Kapchorwa aboard a private chopper before he met Museveni at the then newly constructed State Lodge in the hilly area.
The two would later address a joint press conference where Ruto highlighted the partnership between Uganda and Kenya before they later addressed a gathering at Kapchorwa Boma grounds.
“The president of Uganda and all the leaders in Kapchorwa and Sebei region, I greet you in the name of the Lord,”Ruto said as he took to the podium. “I come here to bring together the East African region as a Kenyan.”
The Kenyan Deputy President was then escorted by several MPs from the Kenyan parliament who included Dr. Robert Pukose from Endebess constituency, Julius Meri , Tirederet constituency and Senator Tiole Ndieme from Trans- Nzoia county.
Speaking in Kiswahili, English and Kalengin Ruto told the people of Kapchorwa that both countries are engaged in joint development projects like the road from Kapchorwa- Bukwo-Swam in Uganda to Katale in Kenya as one of the ways to foster togetherness as the East African community and said this would enhance development.
“Because of the peace and stability that the NRM has brought in Uganda, such projects can go on. It is important that the young people are at the forefront of fighting for this peace ushered into Uganda and region at large,” Ruto said.
He added,” It is important that you invest in the future with this good leadership.”
President Museveni said it is important for the people of both countries to cooperate so as to foster development.
“H.E Ruto is here because he is supporting the NRM ideology of nationalism in Uganda Pan Africanism in Africa,” Museveni said.
During the press conference, Ruto insisted there was no harm in campaigning for Museveni, adding that he was not interested in Uganda’s politics.
“Political parties are institutions of building politics and democracy because those engaged in politics have the
task of rallying people behind political parties. This can be another way of sharing ideas and experiences as far as politics is concerned on top of learning new things. Politicians from either country can become interested in what is happening in the other country,” he said.
Ruto also used this occasion to indirectly attack opposition figures Dr.Kizza Besigye and Amama Mbabazi who had just met then Kenya’s opposition strongman, Raila Odinga.
“There is no problem with them meeting Odinga because this is a free democracy but they met someone who lost and could have only learnt lessons on how to lose,”Ruto said.
This meeting, at least for the public eye, could have been the beginning of the deep friendship and cooperation between President Museveni and Ruto.
In 2018, Ruto was again back with Museveni at the launch of the 150km Kapchorwa-Suam road that would link to Kenya.
The Deputy Kenyan president waxed lyrical about Museveni’s leadership prowess and the two held talks privately.
In the same year, Ruto was chief guest at an event dubbed young achievers awards at Kampala Serena Hotel where he was given a lifetime achievement award.
A year later (2019), Ruto was again hosted in Uganda to launch the William Ruto Leadership Institute at Makerere University.
However, before the event at Makerere, Ruto had made a journey to Mubende State Lodge where he met President Museveni and the two held private talks.
During the talks, the two principals agreed on a United Africa, with Ruto urging that borders should not exist but trade between nations.
“The sooner we forge East African federation, the sooner our prosperity becomes meaningful to our people,” Ruto said.
Ruto returned to Uganda in July 2021 at the launch of a bio-chemical industry along Bombo Road, once again calling for support for President Museveni in his quest for East African leadership.
“You owe us a debt. Before you retire and if possible, in the next two or three years, you owe us the fruition of the EA federation,” Ruto told Museveni who replied in the affirmative. “let me take you there and go look after my cows,” Museveni said in reply.
The two leaders later met at State House Entebbe and talked at length, mostly about Ruto’s candidature for presidency in Kenya.
What is in their meetings?
Ruto has opened an account with President Museveni to focus on political and economic ties.
On all occasions the two have met, Ruto has appeared with investors, something that many say interests Museveni who is hell-bent on turning Uganda into an industrial powerhouse.
Most importantly, Ruto is using the business angle to get the eye of President Museveni whom he is aware has a great network to help him launch his presidency.
In these specific talks at Entebbe, Ruto finally popped the proposal to president Museveni who rebuked him over his campaign style.
Museveni, according to sources at State House told Ruto to stop engaging in ‘war’ with President Kenyatta and instead seek peace with him to highlight his chances of reaching Kenyan State House.
Museveni asked Ruto to adopt a friendly fire with Kenyatta and if possible, push for reconciliation, which would rule out competition from the rest.
Ruto’s team however dismissed reports regarding such a talk and insisted it was “just another visit with nothing much in it.”
Ruto seeking a regional ally
It is not a secret anymore that Ruto is in the Kenyan presidential race and with Museveni seen by many as a force to reckon with in the politics of the region, the Kenyan President is therefore seeking regional backing and funding .
Ruto is also aware that Museveni’s biggest interest in East African Federation which he is willing to support as long as Museveni gives him backing on one end.
In an election, regional leadership support is an important aspect, and Ruto is willing to exploit Museveni’s network, hence his frequent visits to Museveni, if sources are to go by.
It is therefore in the same light that Kenyan deep state is now thwarting Ruto from accessing President Museveni , otherwise his stake ahead of next year’s election could go up.
Many of those near Uganda’s power source say that Museveni is not a man who makes a pick and fails to sail through and it seems the same information is known to Ruto prompting him to be near the former.
In same vein, it is said Museveni would rather Ruto than Raila Odinga( that many say will contest for presidency Kenya next year) and hence he(Museveni) finds himself in the middle of Ruto’s troubles that stemmed from his quest to replace his current boss, President Uhuru Kenyatta.