Deputy President William Ruto has set aside his political difference with ODM leader Raila Odinga to celebrate his 77th birthday.
In a rather show of maturity and perhaps indicating their friendship behind the public gallery, the second in command wished Odinga more blessings as he turned a year older.
— William Samoei Ruto, PhD (@WilliamsRuto) January 7, 2022
Ruto and Raila are the major competitors ahead of this year’s General elections and have been taken on each other bitterly whenever they hit the campaign trail.
According to his handlers, Raila has organized a cake cutting party later in the day at Bomas.
Several leaders are expected to attend the party, in what will be more of a political event given his stature and the time left to the August election.
According to the Star, a group of youths from Nyeri county has also planned a birthday party for the veteran politician in Nyeri town on Friday.
One of the organizers, Waithira Maruru, said the group, calling itself Young Turks for Handshake Alliance, will hold the event at Baden Powell memorial site at around 11 am.
Odinga is already receiving birthday wishes from political leaders, out to display their loyalty, among them Kirinyaga Woman Representative Purity Ngirici who posted “Happy Birthday Jakom” on her Facebook page a day to the grand birthday party.
Raila, who is making the fifth stab at the presidency, has dominated Kenya’s political scene for decades always becoming a key factor in every presidential election.
Born on January 7, 1945, in the western Kenyan town of Maseno, Raila is a member of one of Kenya’s most prominent political families.
His father, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, served as the first vice president of independent Kenya, and one of Odinga’s brothers, Oburu Odinga, serves East African Legislative Assembly (EALA).
Raila attended primary and secondary schools in his home province of Nyanza before completing his education at two institutions in Germany, Leipzig’s Herder Institute and Magdeburg’s Technical University; the latter, now part of the Otto von Guericke University of Magdeburg, awarded him a master’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1970.
After returning home Odinga taught engineering for four years as an assistant lecturer at the University of Nairobi, co-founded one engineering firm, and started another.