Deputy President William Ruto on Friday, July 31 attended the burial of the Late track and field athlete Ben Jipcho at his Kisawai Village home in Saboti Constituency, Trans-Nzoia County.
Addressing mourners at the ceremony, Dr Ruto described the late Jipcho as a “great man, who prioritised his family, despite having a heavy responsibility load on his shoulders”.
“Only few men can marry and look after five wives satisfactorily [the way Ben Jipcho did]. [Maintaining five wives] is not easy. Mimi nang’ang’ana na wangu mmoja, na mambo siyo rahisi sana (I have only one wife, and I am striving to make the marriage trouble-free, and I would tell you, it has not been easy).
"When a man has more than one spouse, and all his partners are comfortable, his children are all schooled, and the family looks well-organised, then that man is great, and Ben Jipcho was a great man!” remarked the Deputy President.
Ruto donated Ksh1 million to Jipcho’s family, saying the money would be used to cater for his burial expenses and other accrued bills.
“Ben Jipcho was a very selfless athlete and Kenyan [national]. There was a time he offered to be a pacemaker so that his fellow countryman, Kipchoge Keino, could win [the race],” said Ruto.
The Deputy President also said the Government will look into the welfare of veteran sports personalities to ensure that they do not die in abject poverty.
On Kenya’s political setting, the DP lashed out at those accusing him of derailing the Jubilee agenda by “putting his focus solely on his 2022 presidential bid”. Ruto said, contrary to the allegation, he has been at the forefront of ensuring different parts of Kenya, including Trans-Nzoia, are connected to the power grid and have adequate supply of water.
“Let us be patient, it is still too early to form alliances with eyes set on 2022. Kenyans are not stupid anymore, [they know when political cards are being played prematurely],” said Ruto, indirectly taking a swipe at the BBI alliances formed allegedly to clip his political wings ahead of 2022.
Jipcho, a 1968 Olympics 1,500m silver medalist, succumbed to Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome (MODS) last Friday, July 24 in Eldoret, Uasin-Gishu County.