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First daughter’s whirlwind tours raise eyebrows



By Wanja Waweru

Charlene Chelagat Ruto, the third child of President William Ruto, has gained national recognition as a result of several highly publicized public appearances in recent weeks.

Given that the children of the previous four presidents didn’t frequently operate in the public eyelight, the events, both domestically and internationally, have sparked discussion on social media concerning the role of the first daughter.

Kenyans on Twitter have questioned Charlene’s frequent meetings with officials and international travels.

Charlene has interacted with numerous county executives across the nation in the months following her father’s election as president.

When former US President Donald Trump was initially elected, similar issues were brought up because his daughter Ivanka attended meetings with her father as an unofficial advisor. Ivanka was subsequently given a position in the government by Trump.

When Charlene announced on Twitter last Thursday that she had met with Mohammed Mehdi, Morocco’s minister of youth, for a “discussion and exchange of ideas that would go a long way in influencing youth development projects for both nations,” tongues started to wag.

“As young African leaders, we need to understand our countries’ political systems so that we may inject positive change through various bilateral avenues. We loved our time of sharing with the young parliamentarians of the Moroccan government,” she tweeted.

She added: “Strengthening bilateral relations between 2 fast growing African Economies keen on empowering the youth is a huge trajectory to achieving set milestones. The gentle shove to kick[1]starting national progress goes a long way.”

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Locally, Charlene has been on a charm offensive, holding meetings with county officials, including governors.

Last week, she held talks with top county officials in Embu, Kirinyaga, Isiolo and Kitui, eliciting conversation on social media as Kenyans expressed curiosity on the objective of the visits.

On Friday morning, Charlene also visited the Tharaka Nithi County Assembly’s offices in Chuka town.

She also paid James Lowasa, the deputy governor of Isiolo, a courtesy visit in Isiolo town, where they spoke about reducing the effects of climate change.

A large-scale tree-planting campaign was one among the interventions suggested at the conference, which County Trade Chief Officer Lucy Kaburu also attended.

“A tree planting exercise shall be conducted in December along with another follow-up engagement with various stakeholders,” Charlene wrote on Twitter.

She also visited Kirinyaga and Embu counties, taking the residents by surprise, saying she was keen on seeing counties grow for the benefit of all Kenyans.


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