President William Ruto will depart the country on Sunday, March 26, 2023 for a four-day visit to the Federal Republic of Germany and the Kingdom of Belgium, respectively.
In a statement on Sunday, State House spokesperson Hussein Mohamed said that the trip is aimed at strengthening bilateral ties between Kenya and the two nations.
"In Berlin, the President will meet President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in talks aimed at strengthening bilateral relations between Kenya and Germany," the statement read in part.
President Ruto will also deliver a keynote address at the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue, outlining the challenges of energy security amidst the worsening climate crisis and the push for investments in renewable energy, in Kenya and Africa. Kenya will also explore partnership with Germany on the youth agenda, specifically in vocational education and training.
In Brussels, the President will meet Alexander De Croo, Prime Minister of Belgium and discuss mutual areas of interest including, health, addressing Kenya's food security and drought response, climate action, trade and investment.
"The President will also engage with the leadership of the European Union, including, Charles Michel, President of the European Union Council and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission. His meeting will reinforce Kenya's commitment to the Kenya — EU Strategic Dialogue, to deepen the partnership between Kenya and the European Union, under the three key pillars of Peace, Security and Stability; Sustainable and Inclusive Development; and, Economy, Trade and Investment," Mohamed added.
Ruto facing opposition
The trip comes at a time the government is facing fierce opposition through protests by the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya coalition party, which claims that Ruto did not win the 2022 August polls.
As from Monday, March 27, 2023, the opposition outfit will hold protests twice a week to "claim their victory" as well as protests against other things such as the high cost of living.
Azimio, led by Raila Odinga, is also protesting against nepotism in state appointments, the sacking of civil servants and the appointment of new Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioners.
Already, President Ruto has asked Raila to call off planned demonstrations and support him instead.
Speaking in Uriri, Migori county on Saturday, March 25, 2023, during his tour of Nyanza, Ruto said he supported Raila's presidential bid in 2007 and as such the Azimio leader owes him a political debt.
"Mbona unanifanyia maandamano? Si ata yeye anipigie kura siku moja jamani? Mi naona miaka yake imesongasonga sana. Sasa miaka imesonga na hajanipigia kura sasa atanipigia kura lini? Arudishe mkono ama namna gani? Kwani kurudisha mkono iko makosa? Agwambo lazima arudishe mkono?" Ruto said.
Ruto further lamented that he suffered a lot for supporting Raila, adding that he was indicted at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands because of the Azimio leader.