Uhuru Has Not Found It Fit To Congratulate Me

In an exclusive interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Kenyan President-elect William Ruto discussed the Supreme Court ruling which secured his election victory and…

 Uhuru Has Not Found It Fit To Congratulate Me

In an exclusive interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Kenyan President-elect William Ruto discussed the Supreme Court ruling which secured his election victory and also revealed that outgoing President Kenyatta has yet to congratulate him as the country approaches a transition of power.

Ruto spoke about the campaign, and the largely peaceful election process, “I think it speaks to the heart of the maturity of the democracy of our country. No citizen, no leader wants their country to be famous for violence. As the people of Kenya, we have raised the standard.”

Despite working alongside President Kenyatta as his Deputy, Kenyatta supported Ruto’s opponent Raila Odinga in the presidential election. Ruto told Amanpour he did not hold this against Kenyatta but shared that the outgoing president has yet to congratulate him on his victory, “Unfortunately, President Kenyatta has not seen it fit to congratulate me, but I think that’s fine.”

Ruto said that he will work to unify the country following his narrow election win, as well as play an active role in solving East Africa’s security and humanitarian issues.

The President-elect went on to discuss food shortages and the impact of the Russian war in Ukraine on grain exports. He also spoke about how his election victory can inspire others, “With winning this election, the child of every Kenyan can know that they can live their dreams and actualize their dreams irrespective of whatever background they come from.”

Key Quotes

Ruto on the election campaign:

“I think it speaks to the heart of the maturity of the democracy of our country. No citizen, no leader wants their country to be famous for violence. As the people of Kenya, we have raised the standard, I think, in our continent, and we have raised the standard even for ourselves, that we can go to an election, we can decide who our leaders are, and the next day we can go back to work.”

Ruto on previous elections:

“What happened in the past was a slip, and we have gained a balance. And I am confident going into the future the next election will be better than the one we had this year.”

Ruto on President Kenyatta choosing to support his opponent:

“When I decided to support President Uhuru Kenyatta for ten years, I did not give him conditions on him to support me. He is an adult, and he can choose and make decisions.”

Ruto on whether President Kenyatta has congratulated him:

“Unfortunately, President Kenyatta has not seen it fit to congratulate me, but I think that’s fine. Maybe he’s a bit disillusioned or maybe he’s unhappy that I defeated his candidate, but that is the nature of politics.”

Ruto on Somalia:

“Somalia is a difficult nut to crack. But we have confidence that the newly elected President in Somalia, who has worked with us before, we are looking forward to working with him and the international community so that we can straighten out the challenges in Somalia.”

Ruto on food shortages:

“We are going to work with the international community, we are going to work with the leadership in Somalia, so that even as we address the security challenges, we also deal with the humanitarian, especially food situation in the Horn of Africa, in northern Kenya, and generally in our region.”

Ruto on shortages following the Russian invasion of Ukraine:

“I would encourage that, instead of the finger pointing and ‘blame game’ as to who is responsible for what, we should sort out collectively as the international community the conflict in Ukraine.”

Ruto on homosexuality in Kenya:

“We have Kenyan law, we have Kenyan constitution, we have our tradition, we have our customs. We will continue to respect other people’s customs as they respect our customs and our tradition. I am very clear that we respect everybody and what they believe in, but we also have what we believe in, and we expect to be respected for what we believe in.”

Ruto on whether his government will crack down on homosexuality:

“We do not want to create a mountain out of a molehill. This is not a big issue for the people of Kenya. When it becomes a big issue for the people of Kenya, the people of Kenya will make a choice.”

Ruto on his background and calling himself a ‘hustler’:

“With winning this election, the child of every Kenyan can know that they can live their dreams and actualize their dreams irrespective of whatever background they come from. And we are elevating Kenya to the next level where ethnicity cannot be a barrier. Your social status cannot be a barrier. The religion you profess cannot be a barrier. That’s all my candidature speaks to.”

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