By Calvin Osiemo
After much speculation and arguments over whether visiting United States of America President Barrack Obama will meet Deputy President William Ruto, the two finally met at Statehouse in Nairobi. Obama shook hands with DP Ruto after inspecting a guard of honor that took place at Statehouse bearing in mind that Obama is the first sitting President to visit Kenya. DP Ruto was in Statehouse for bilateral meetings between President Uhuru and President Obama.
This is the first time Deputy President Ruto and President Obama have met in person since Obama arrived in the country on Friday evening. Mr. Ruto was not present during the welcoming of President Obama at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and as well as the official opening of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit at Gigiri. Many questions are lingering around the interpenetrations of their meeting despite the fact that US protocol had earlier indicated that President Obama would not have personal meeting with Ruto. This meant that Mr. Ruto will make appearances at public events as part of a government official.
“No plans for any separate engagements. He is a member of the government and so will be present at some of the events” said US National Security Adviser Susan Rice on Wednesday.
Deputy President William Ruto is facing charges against human rights at the International Criminal Court in the Hague-Netherlands. Ruto’s charges alongside Radio Journalist Joshua Arap Sang are linked to the Post election violence that rocked the country after the 2007 General elections. President Uhuru Kenyatta was however acquitted off his charges after the case was unsustainable due to lack of enough evidence against him. Recently, the ICC judges rejected a document the prosecution wanted admitted as evidence to demonstrate Deputy President alleged involvement with a network blamed for the 2007 post-election violence. The Judges turned down ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s application to allow the document that prosecution intended to use as the evidence to prove the crimes against humanity charges against Ruto.
During a press briefing recently, President Kenyatta said he was sure President Obama will meet DP Ruto because he was in the country to meet the government which he, Mr. Ruto is part of.
“As far as I am concerned the President of the US is coming to attend the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. He is coming to meet the government of Kenya and that includes the deputy President. The last time I checked, the Deputy President was still part of this government,” said President Kenyatta.