Deputy President William Ruto was on Monday reportedly barred from leaving the country for Uganda.
Ruto was scheduled to make a private visit to the neighboring country in the company of his close allies including Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro, his Kapseret counterpart Oscar Sudi and businessmen David Lagat, Harun Ayoin, David Muge, Simon Mogun, and Nelson Kisalit.
The deputy president was stuck at Wilson Airport for hours after he was blocked from boarding a private jet to Entebbe. Nation reports that Ruto was set to fly on a Jadester 12 private jet operated by Nairobi-based Phoenix Aviation, but was asked for clearance as required of all civil servants. The Cessna 560XL registration number 5Y WHB had already been prepared for the flight but the trip was canceled at the last minute.
“We are surprised the Deputy President was denied clearance to go on a planned private visit to Uganda. It is our officers who always handle his travel and this time, they were told, that he must get clearance from Immigration to fly out. In all his travels, all these years, this has not happened,” Ruto’s communication secretary David Mugonyi said in a statement.
Taking to Twitter following the incident, Ruto said, “Isorait…tumwachie mungu.”
His allies also protested the move through social media, terming it unconstitutional.
Garissa Township MP Aden Duale tweeted: “Article 147 of the Constitution entrenches the constitutional functions and duties of the DEPUTY PRESIDENT. These were first taken away from him and denied in complete and blatant disregard of the Constitution.”
Senator Kipchumba Murkomen wrote: “The President has blocked the DP from performing his official duties & now he is blocking him from his private engagements. This is a ridiculous show of deep sense of insecurity & tactlessness.”
Ruto has made five visits to Uganda in the past six years, with the last being in July this year when he accompanied Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to the launch of a vaccine manufacturing facility in Matuga-Wakiso district. In 2015, Ruto openly campaigned for Museveni in Kapchorwa.