Deputy President William Ruto has recently received admiration for his perceived humility in the face of alleged humiliation by certain political powers said to be opposed to his 2022 presidential ambitions.
During the burial of Jonathan Moi, Ruto was commended for agreeing to invite his junior and competitor, Baringo Senator Gideon Moi to make a speech on behalf of former President Daniel arap Moi.
While Moi supporters said the move was a matter of protocol, it was a deviation from the norm where the senior most official speaks last even if an absent individual of a higher rank had sent a representative to deliver a speech.
Indeed, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s speech was read by his brother Muhoho Kenyatta way ahead of speeches by the political and without any fanfare.
Back to the Deputy President, the composed demeanor in public is not the same character his associates have had of him – especially after falling out.
There are two instances where those who have worked with Ruto have depicted him as a man with an extremely short temper who will stop at nothing to tame his rivals.
Former MP Reuben Chesire who faced Ruto in the 1997 and 2002 parliamentary elections claimed that the current DP had beaten him up by punching him during a tense meeting at State House.
"I had gone to State House to seek permission from former President Moi to travel abroad on official duties.”
"I have had roadblocks all my (political) life. To this day, I have never known why my enemies have been so rough with me. I have been fought all through," Chesire narrated the incident in 2008, a few days before his death.
Fast forward to 2016 when Ruto’s mentor-turned-political foe – Cyrus Jirongo, shocked the country after he accused the DP of murdering a young man in cold blood during a violent rally in 1998.
He said he and Ruto had hosted then Opposition Leader Mwai Kibaki at a rally in Sabwani, Trans Nzoia but the meeting was disrupted by Kanu youth wingers.
"A young man came around and hit my vehicle with an arrow. George Kapten rushed out of the car, pursued the man then pounced on him. We all thought that we had apprehended the man, but that day my friend (Ruto) made me believe he was capable of killing when he strangled him before us. Those who were around during that period know that the young man was killed by Deputy President William Ruto,” Jirongo stated.
The deputy President has in the past denied the two incidents.