President William Ruto has held 126 publicised meetings in his 60 days in office, hosting as many as four a day amid pressure to deliver on the many promises he made on the campaign trail.
A Nation Newsplex analysis shows that since his swearing-in on September 13, Dr Ruto has been without any engagements – at least those publicised by him through his verified social media pages as well as those of State House – on only five days.
These are September 15 and 24, when he would have been meeting various people to craft his 22-member Cabinet, and on October 1, 21, and 29.
His total engagements for September alone – the month he took the oath of office – were 30, consisting of 24 meetings and events at State House, three others in the capital, one in Naivasha and two out of the country.
October was an even busier month for the Head of State, who had a total of 42 different engagements. He was seen in public every day, except three days.
Between November 1 and 12, he had 25 meetings, most of them during his two-day engagement at the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) at Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt.
The Egypt trip was his sixth international tour since taking office.
He has also been to the United Kingdom, the United States, Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania.
The President has had a total of 68 different meetings and events at his official residence at the State House in Nairobi. Of these, 18 were with Kenyans from different walks of life, while 44 were with members of the diplomatic corps and visiting Heads of State.
In all, he has also had a total of 17 engagements within Nairobi County, but outside State House, 11 in other counties and 32 outside the country.
A teetotaller known to wake up early and who could do as many as six rallies a day at the height of the recent election campaigns, Dr Ruto has adopted a hands-on approach, and is known to have as many meetings as necessary and ask as many questions as needed to get the most of technocrats’ ideas or share and refine his vision with those he wants to implement.
In all, the President is either a diligent hands-on manager who likes to pay attention to the tiniest of details or very domineering and refuses to delegate, depending on who you ask.
“William Ruto is a guy who can do 16 functions in one day. He wakes up at 5am … and he can work until midnight,” National Assembly Deputy Speaker Gladys Boss Shollei told a radio station in May.
In any case, both allies and adversaries concur that President Ruto is a workaholic who is excessively meticulous.
Also Read: Why Ruto read the riot act to CSs
As soon as he was sworn in on September 13, he began working officially and late into the night. He hosted the former German president Christian Wulff and met with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai.
He also signed his very first executive order, appointing four Court of Appeal judges and another for two Environment and Land Court judges.
This would become the first of many overturned decisions made by his predecessor.
In September, Dr Ruto focused on familiarising himself with members of the diplomatic corps, meeting delegations from several countries at State House.
On September 14, a day after his swearing-in, he met Republic of Congo President Denis Sassou Nguesso, South Sudan President Salva Kiir, Somalia's President Hassan Mohamud, the Serbian deputy prime minister and Cuban Deputy Prime Minister Ines Maria Chapman.
These leaders had arrived in Kenya for his inauguration and Dr Ruto was cementing relationships with them after months of being excluded from State functions by his former boss. The most notable moment was when he missed out on Tanzania President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s visit in May 2021.
Afterwards, he proceeded to engage delegations from France, Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, eSwatini, Serbia and South Korea. On the same day, he went on to preside over the swearing-in of the judges he had appointed the previous night and at around 7pm, he signed a condolence book for the late Queen Elizabeth II at the UK High Commissioner’s residence in Muthaiga.
After a day’s rest, Dr Ruto, on September 16, proceeded for a Kenya Kwanza parliamentary group meeting for two days in Naivasha.
His first international trip came on September 18, when he flew to London for the Queen’s funeral. A few hours after the funeral, he was on a New York-bound flight for the 77th United Nations General Assembly.
He had a packed schedule, holding meetings and attending roundtable talks. He also made his first address as President.
As soon as he returned to Kenya on the morning of September 25, he attended a thanksgiving service attended by religious leaders at State House.
The next day, he flagged off relief food to drought-stricken areas, and on September 27, he held his first Cabinet meeting with outgoing Cabinet secretaries and later unveiled his 22-member Cabinet at 4pm.
As the month closed, Dr Ruto met with financial sector leaders from Safaricom, KCB and NCBA banks.
He announced that four million Kenyans blacklisted for defaulting on loans would be removed from the negative listing by November 1.
On September 29, he officially opened Parliament and made his first address to the House. His total engagements for September alone were 30, consisting of 24 meetings and events at State House, three others in the capital, one in Naivasha and two out of the country.
October was an even busier month for him, holding 42 different engagements.
He was seen in public every day except three days.
He kicked off the month by making his first visit out of the capital to attend a church service at the African Inland Church in Homa Bay on October 2.
A day later, Dr Ruto held discussions with a congressional delegation from the United States. He then chaired his first Cabinet meeting, where he lifted the ban on GMO cotton. In the afternoon, he inspected the ongoing affordable housing project in Mukuru, Nairobi.
His second international trip was on October 6 to attend the launch of Safaricom in Ethiopia.
He was in Uganda on October 8 to attend the country’s 60th independence anniversary celebrations and left two days later for a visit to Tanzania, where he met with President Hassan.
In October alone, President Ruto had 24 different meetings at State House where he met local and international leaders. He also had an additional 10 events that he attended in Nairobi, such as the launch of the proposed Kibera Soweto East Zone B Social Housing Project in Langata.
But that was not all.
He attended eight different events outside the capital, such as the 11th Kenya Defence Forces Day in Laikipia and commissioned the Thiba Dam in Kirinyaga on October 14 and 15, respectively.
So far in November, he has largely spent his time at the State House.
Between November 1 and 10, he held 20 meetings and events, including when he dispatched the Kenyan military contingent to the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo under the auspices of the East African Community Regional Force.
His first event out of the capital this month was on November 5, when he distributed food in Turkana and Samburu.
He left for Egypt on November 6 to attend the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27).
As of November 9, he had attended 15 different engagements in and out of the country.
Dr Ruto’s diary has always been full, with the campaign period showing just how agile he can be.
He could hold rallies in three different counties in one day, outpacing his main rival Raila Odinga in the number of visits in almost all regions.
Despite all these activities, the true measure of Dr Ruto’s hard work will only be felt when Kenyans finally see the cost of living going down and the promises he outlined in his manifesto fulfilled.