Deputy President William Ruto’s absence during Tanzania President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s arrival at State House, Nairobi, has raised eyebrows.
President Suluhu arrived at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport(JKIA) on Tuesday, May 4 morning, for a two-day state visit.
DP Ruto’s office Director of Communications Emmanuel Tallam said that “he was not invited” to the meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and President Suluhu, or the dinner set in honour of the late John Pombe Magufuli.
Tallam, on whether he was aware of possible reasons for the “missed” invitation to the Deputy President, said, “Only State House can answer that.”
He added that Ruto was working at his Karen office, evident from his social media posts, where he held a meeting with Kajiado AIC church leaders.
Ruto has been visibly absent during various state events, and on some, president Uhuru Kenyatta appearing with ODM leader Raila Odinga, like the March 26 COVID-19 state address.
During the May 1st Labour Day celebrations at State House, DP Ruto was away in a three-day meeting with 11 Mt Kenya region leaders, chatting about his 2022 political ambitions.
President Suluhu’s Two-day State Visit
President Suluhu, upon arrival at JKIA, was received by Foreign Affairs CS Raychelle Omamo and Sports CS Amina Mohammed.
She later proceeded to State House where she was welcomed by President Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, with 21-gun salute honours, before engaging in talks with Kenyatta.
“During the visit the Heads of State will hold bilateral talks aimed at strengthening the cordial relations between the two countries,” Omamo said in a statement on Monday.
According to CS Omamo, the talks are aimed at strengthening ties between Kenya and Tanzania on matters of trade, tourism, art, culture, as well as “enhance cooperation at the continental and multilateral levels.”
Later in the evening, she will attend a state dinner to commemorate the late John Pombe Magufuli.
President Suluhu is also expected to address a joint sitting at National Assembly on Wednesday, May 4 marking the end of her visit.