The seat assigned Deputy President William Ruto’s wife, Rachel Ruto, was taken and handed to former Vice President Moody Awori.
Moments before President Uhuru Kenyatta walked in accompanied by his wife Margaret Kenyatta, event organizers were captured hurriedly preparing the seat for the former VP.
Rachel was a noticeable absentee from the event, as she is known for her devotion to prayer.
Rachel is known as a deeply pious lady, and has often attended prayer meetings where she has been seen seeking divine intervention from God.
She famously led prayers ahead of the August 8, 2017, elections at a crusade in Meru. It was part of her Tuombeeni Kenya (lets pray for Kenya) initiative that saw her crisscross the country to pray for peace ahead of the elections.
Her absence at the recent meeting came as a surprise, as the DP cut a lonely figure during various odd moments during the event.
President Uhuru was surprised when a member of the clergy welcomed him to the stage, ignoring the country’s second in command in the process.
“I thought that we had a deal your Grace, that the function would end with your prayers and that there would be no speeches,” the President stated.
However, Uhuru went on to heap praise on his cabinet, leaders across the various counties as well as leaders from different political parties.
Notably, he did not mention his deputy during his address, further fueling claims that the two Jubilee party leaders are not in talking terms.
The president’s exit from the event also raised several eyebrows as he hurriedly made his way past the DP, only taking a moment to fist-bump House Speakers Justin Muturi and Ken Lusaka on his way out.
DP Ruto has had a challenging week following the directive by the Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua that politicians intending to hold rallies should seek approval from the Officer Commanding Station (OCS) of the area three days prior.
In his statement, Kinyua explained that the guidelines are aimed at taming political incitement and violence in political rallies, social media and the mainstream media.
On October 8, police dispersed Nyamira residents at Kebirigo High School where the DP was expected to lead the fundraising event for a boda boda Savings and Credit Cooperative Organisation.
On Friday evening, October 9, in a letter addressed to St Leo Catholic Church Shianda in Mumias East and Our Lady of Assumption Indangalasia Catholic parish in Matungu, the OCSs from both areas said the meetings would not be allowed.
Citing multiple security and health concerns, the police commanders further directed that no church services would be held in the two churches.
The DP was expected to conduct a fundraiser at both events on the day.
Attention has been brought to the enforcement of the new directive, after both Baringo Senator Gideon Moi and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga held events that attracted huge crowds.
On his part, the Baringo Senator met residents in Naswet, Mau area, with footage showing a clear violation of Covid-19 safety protocols such as physical distancing and wearing of face masks.