President Ruto, DP Gachagua and Prime CS Mudavadi out of the country

Rigathi Gachagua

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua (left) and Colombian counterpart Francia Elena Marquez visiting coffee farms in Colombia. The Gachagua-led Coffee reforms were meant to weed out cartels and put more money in the farmer’s pocket, but farmers say they are doing the opposite.

Photo credit: DPCS

Both President William Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua are currently out of the country.

President Ruto departed for the United States on Wednesday evening just days after Mr Gachagua flew to Colombia in a bid to promote Kenyan coffee.

Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi who has been on a three-day visit in the United Kingdom was last evening expected to jet back into the country.

The foreign trips by the top leadership leave National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang’ula as the senior most government official in the country.

It is not the first time the President and his deputy are out of the country at the same time. In the last administration, there were instances when both former President Uhuru Kenyatta and his then deputy Ruto flew out of the country.

But during their trial at the International Criminal Court, President Ruto and Mr Kenyatta told the court that they could not both be away.

A dispatch from State House on Wednesday evening indicated that the President is scheduled to visit Silicon Valley in San Francisco, where he will meet with technology leaders from Microsoft, Intel, Google and Apple, among other companies.

According to the statement, the visit aims to enhance investment opportunities and trade relations with the United States, with a particular focus on nurturing the country’s nascent start-up sector.

President Ruto will thereafter attend the 78th United Nations General Assembly in New York. The global gathering will assess progress towards the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and address critical global challenges such as the climate crisis and debt concerns in the Global South.

Dr Ruto will also participate in the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Ambition Summit, building on the successes of the recently concluded Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi.

On the sidelines of the General Assembly, President Ruto will chair a session of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change and participate in discussions on the High-Level Panel for Sustainable Ocean Economy.

Mr Gachagua is on a week-long official visit that will also see him lead the Kenyan delegation to the G77—a coalition of 134 developing countries and China—summit in Cuba’s capital Havana.

The DP’s delegation comprises Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi and his Foreign Affairs counterpart Alfred Mutua and coffee farmers from the main coffee-growing counties in the Mt Kenya region including Nyeri, Kiambu, Murang’a and Kirinyaga. The farmers will participate in the Coffee Producers and Roasters Forum (PRF) in Medellin, as well as meet with leading coffee producers and traders in the Latin America country.

“Coffee was a transformative crop in most Kenyan homes. We want to return the crop to productivity. I am a beneficiary of the proceeds of coffee. Partnership with Colombia on coffee will improve production and earnings for farmers,” Mr Gachagua said.