By Wanja Waweru
James Smart, a media personality has detailed his encounter with Kenya’s most powerful man, President Wiliam Ruto.
In a Daily Nation article titled “A State House of contrasts: The transition from Uhuru to Ruto” Smart narrates his experience at the house on the hill.
He describes the ambience as “more welcoming under Ruto” because, according to the veteran journalist, “an invitation to State House, Nairobi, always came with guaranteed discomfort.”
He adds: “A media briefing slated for noon could start at 3pm — or even 7pm. Journalists got used to this State House hospitality, a house of restrictions and seemingly with no functioning clocks.”
Journalists had learned from prior encounters that a protracted wait before a briefing was standard procedure. But under the new county’s chief executive, that was not the case.
The security check went smoothly and quickly. They were permitted to enter with their phones, and the program began exactly when it was supposed to, without any delays.
President Ruto is a very deliberate individual, according to Smart’s observation in his article.
“‘Nothing happens by chance in politics,’ President Ruto later told us as we were having dinner. His mood the whole night was calm, reflective, and boisterous. He seemed eager to impress the nation through the interview.”
As soon as the media finished the interview, minutes to midnight, the President rose from his chair, asking his handlers, “Now, is there dinner?” The entire team was ushered into the next hall.
Smart details what President Ruto picked from the buffet at the State House.
“We followed him to the buffet and sat around a long table. He started with two pieces of well-done ribs, a lot of greens, steamed vegetables, and ugali.
He spoke to everyone at the table, occasionally laughing at comments on social media about the just concluded interview.