The tribulations bedeviling Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto deepened Monday when he was dramatically denied from boarding a flight to Uganda for not seeking clearance as all civil servants should.
The DP was scheduled to fly for an unknown mission to Entebbe, accompanied by a seven-man entourage comprising of his close political allies and businessmen.
According to a flight manifest from Phoenix Aviation, he was to use a private jet on flight number Jadestar 12.
The plane he was to use; a Cessna 560XL registered using tail number 5Y WHB, had already been prepared for flight but its crew was told at the last minute that their VVIP guest would not be flying after all.
The DP’s office protested what it termed a change of rules on his foreign travels without notice.
“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,” the DP’s office said through his communication secretary David Mugonyi.
Also set to travel with the DP were Kapseret Member of Parliament Oscar Sudi, businessmen David Lagat, Harun Ayoin, David Muge, Simon Mogun and Nelson Kisalit.
Following the events, Mr Sudi and the Deputy President both posted their reactions on their social media pages.
DP Ruto visited Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni earlier in July, part of a camaraderie the two leaders have cemented in the last six years.
The visit, which saw the DP attend the unveiling of a vaccine manufacturing facility in Matuga-Wakiso district, was the fifth in the last six years.
Of these, the 2015 event in which Dr Ruto openly campaigned for Mr Museveni in Kapchorwa was the most conspicuous, drawing fury and protests from Kizza Besigye-led opposition politicians seeking to dethrone the Ugandan strongman.
His July visit raised eyebrows, coming at a time he has trained his eyes on succeeding his boss, President Uhuru Kenyatta, in the 2022 General Election.