Ruto’s trip to Dubai stirs conversation among Kenyans

Written By: Eric Biegon
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Questions surrounding the whereabouts of Deputy President William Ruto, now appear to have been put to rest. This is after the country’s second in command broke his silence late Saturday disclosing that he had traveled to the United Arab Emirates.

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Even though he did not make public his mission, Ruto, indicated he was on a tour of Dubai. Accompanying the DP is former Mombasa Senator Omar Hassan.

“This evening I interacted with Hustler Salt Bae, a Turkish butcher, who has created a successful hustle out of salt, nyama and a knife.” He wrote on his Twitter account.

Nusret Gökçe, nicknamed Salt Bae, is a famous chef and a restaurateur who owns a chain of steak houses in 16 cities globally. The DP visited the one in Dubai, where Gokce is operating from.

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He then delivered a message to his supporters mobilized as the “Hustler nation’’, urging them to stay the course.

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“Mahustler wa Kenyatta, burma, dagoreti markets na wengine mko na compe na lessons hapo, mjipange. Kazi ni kazi, wìra ni wìra, mboka ni mboka.” The DP remarked.

Ruto’s message appears a direct response to lack of certainty over his exact location, a situation that had shaped debate for most parts of Friday and Saturday.

But while this disclosure addresses the issue of his whereabouts, pictures shared of his trip in Dubai have sparked yet another conversation. The fact that he was pictured with the popular Turkish butcher has had the internet divided.

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Some particularly took issue with the DP for describing Salt Bae as a hustler. According to critics, the restaurateur is a billionaire who owns multiple hotels and doesn’t fit into the profile of Kenyans struggling to make ends meet.

Ruto supporters would however hear none of it. Some of those who posted their messages on social media maintain that they are inspired by Salt Bae’s rise, having “begun small.”

Ruto’s whereabouts became a matter of public interest especially after similar questions were raised regarding the whereabouts of his erstwhile political rival, opposition leader Raila Odinga.

Raila, it later emerged, was on a tour of the Democratic Republic of Congo in his capacity as the African Union envoy on Infrastructure.  In DRC, Raila noted that he was there to assess the progress being made in the construction of the Grand Inga Hydropower project.

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The two political giants had kept a low profile soon after the much-awaited BBI signature collection exercise was called off in the eleventh hour.

What is not clear, and the question many have been asking, however, is why they both chose to be out of the country at such a time. Was it just a break from the heat of politics? What is not in doubt is that Kenyans are tracking their actions and movements.

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