The former Kapsabet Boys student who was born on December 21, 1966, in Kamagut village, Uasin Gishu county, William Kipchirchir Samoei Arap Ruto, was yesterday sworn in as the 5th president of the Republic of Kenya after serving as the 11th deputy president of Kenya since 2013 to 2022.
Soon after taking his Solemn Affirmation of due Execution of Office of the President and Assumption of the office, Ruto and his co-principal Rigathi Gachagua embarked on urgencies to revive the country’s economy.
“Clearly, we are living beyond our means. This situation must be corrected, this year, we will spend 60 per cent of our revenues to service our debt. We are faced with Sh 600 billion in pending bills for goods and services supplied to the government,” Ruto alluded.
The president through his inaugural speech shifted focus immediately in bid to lower the cost of living by empowering food producers, creating jobs for our young people, creating a favourable environment for enterprise and empowering independent institutions.
On what is termed as his First Executive Order, Ruto appointed the six judges nominated by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and rejected by his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta three years ago.
Among top on the agenda include dealing with the laws that will better health care. Ruto has promised to look into the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) to ensure money is put into proper use to fund health care.
He announced that contributions to the NHIF kitty will now be restructured to reflect the income of Individual contributors, a move that has been received warmly by Kenya Healthcare Federation (KHF).
Christmas came early for the farmers and agricultural sector as the president restated that his administration will make 1.4 million bags of fertilizer available for Sh3,500 for a 50 kg bag in a week’s time down from the current Sh6,500.
The president met a delegation led by Prime Minister Cleopas Sipho Dlamini at the State House and discussed issues on strengthening agricultural export capabilities to boost crop production and collaborate on green energy in a move to achieve sustainable development goal on energy.
To what is seemed as keeping the promise to the coastal region dwellers, the President issued orders to revert all port operations transferred to Nairobi and Naivasha Inland Container Depots (ICDS) to Mombasa, withdrawing one of the most controversial policies of the Jubilee administration the port services back to Mombasa.
“This afternoon, I will be issuing instructions for clearance of all goods and other attendant operational issues to revert to the port of Mombasa. This initiative restores thousands of jobs in the city,” Ruto insisted.
To what could be received negatively by majority of Kenyans, the statesman seems to prepare them psychologically for tough times ahead of vowing to end fuel and food subsidies. Fuel price subsidy has kept prices stable since July.
“In addition to being very costly, consumption subsidy interventions are prone to abuse, distort markets and create uncertainties, including artificial shortages of the very products we seek to subsidise,” said the President.
The President hinted at doing away with subsidies on fuel and food, arguing that they are a huge burden and often leads to product shortages. He faulted the outgoing administration of false subsidies, insisting that his administration will focus on enhancing production to increase the supply of commodities.
Ruto promised to set up an education reform taskforce in the coming weeks to spearhead a review of the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) that is being implemented in the country in a move to solve the double transition nightmare of the Standard Eight, under the 8-4-4 system and Grade Six learners under the CBC to secondary schools in January.
“Public participation is critical in this matter. I will establish an education reform task force in the presidency which will be launched in the coming weeks,” stated Ruto.
In streamlining the Judiciary and improving on efficiency, President William Ruto has presided over the swearing-in of four Court of Appeal judges and two Environmental Court judges at State House, Nairobi.
Appointment of the 6 judges, nominated 3 years ago was declined by his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta, over what he cited as integrity flaws.
The president has assured that his administration will scale up the budgetary allocation for the Judiciary by an additional Sh3 billion annually, to support the bottom-up scaling of justice by increasing the number of small claims courts, for the next 5 years.
President William Ruto swore to work for all Kenyans after he was confirmed as president in the colourful event as a result of the August 9 polls.