Kenya’s President William Ruto says there is no cause for alarm over his weight loss that recently became visible to a section of Kenyans, leading to speculation on social media.
Addressing the media at State House, Nairobi, Dr Ruto on Sunday night said he shed some weight after resuming his fitness, dieting and wellness programme, which had experienced challenges during the 2022 election campaigns.
The grueling vote hunt against a combined Azimio La Umoja force of Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta, he said, affected his eating and meal plans— sometimes finding himself over-eating.
“I had an original fit that ran amok the last one-and-a-half to two years. We went into elections and you know when you have elections there is a lot of pressure, sometimes you take out the pressure on food,” he told the joint media briefing.
“You have to do this and that and you don’t have time to go and exercise and sometimes you eat. Because you don’t know when you will get the next meal, sometimes you overeat.”
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In a bid to woo voters, the then heavier deputy president and his running mate Rigathi Gachagua would occasionally be spotted enjoying meals with ‘hustlers’ at restaurants and open-air markets around the country.
Some of the photos taken during the informal feasts were converted into memes and are part of the arsenal in the hands of their detractors on social media.
They occasionally trend whenever Kenya Kwanza comes under fire for perceived unpopular decisions, including the current firestorm over heavy taxes and levies in Finance Bill 2023.
Without giving details, the Kenya Kwanza leader said he had shed some kilos as he prepared to face the challenges of running a country that he said was left in a mess by his predecessor, Mr Kenyatta.
“I decided to cut it down because ile kibarua niko nayo si kidogo (the task ahead is not easy). You need to be very alert, to work better.”
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