President Ruto’s most prominent daughter Charlene Ruto has sparked controversy over her remarks about the Office of the First Daughter. While speaking at a conference in Arusha Tanzania, Ms Ruto on Tuesday introduced members of a team that works with her at the office during a summit held in Arusha, Tanzania.
“Before again I continue, I wanted to introduce quickly my team from Kenya. So, I’ll start with the back. This is Mike Sagana, he’s one of my team members. He’s a politician and he’s my principal advisor in my team. And this is Jermaine Momanyi, he is the head of trade and investments at the office of the first daughter…” said Ms Ruto to claps and laughter from the audience.
Seeing as Kenya does not have such thing as an Office of the First Daughter in the constitution, Charlene’s comments drew mixed reactions from Kenyans online and became a subject of discussion on Wednesday.
In a statement issued in the afternoon, Ms Ruto said the office is a “private entity” which runs on the support of “facilitators” and not State funds.
“The Office of the First Daughter is a private entity. It is neither a constitutional office nor is it being funded by Kenyan taxpayers. The office runs to purely facilitate the activities of & any programs being run by Ms. Charlene Ruto,” read the statement.
“Through its independent structure and facilitators, the office has engaged various players across the country and beyond in line with some of its objectives of championing youth-based agendas and climate change advocacy.”
Charlene has, since her father’s assumption of office in September, been traversing the country, meeting various county leaders, and even flying out to meetings with foreign dignitaries.
She has branded herself a ‘climate change activist’ and a voice for the youth, which she alluded to in a recent interview when asked about her engagements.
“I feel like there is a lot our president is doing internationally and nationally, also our first lady, our CSs, county governors and that kind of thing, but who is standing up for the youth?” Charlene asked in a previous interview.