Kenya’s ‘first daughter’ denies using public money

Following a nationwide outcry, the Kenyan president’s daughter has denied public money is being used to fund what she calls “the first daughter’s office”.

Since her father’s inauguration in September, Ms. Ruto has held numerous high-profile events and meetings under the title.

In Kenyan law, no such office exists.

Many Kenyans online have expressed anger at his pledges and asked who funds them.

Some have described it as a “low budget version of Ivanka [Trump]”who regularly attended political functions while her father Donald Trump was President of the United States.

Some have dubbed it Quickmart Ivanka, referring to a low-cost Kenyan supermarket.

But Ruto doesn’t seem to be too upset and she tweeted a video of herself smiling, as I stroll through the supermarket chain.

Since his father William became president, Ruto has met with leaders across the country and attended international forums with foreign dignitaries.

In a video widely shared online, Ms Ruto is seen speaking to an audience at a summit in Tanzania, where she introduces her ‘Kenya team’, including her adviser and another who is the ‘head of trade and investment at the Office of the First Daughter”.

The audience seems to respond loudly with applause and a few laughs.

“I don’t understand what’s funny about it,” Mrs. Ruto replies as she tries to continue with the introductions.

She became a top Twitter trend in Kenya on Wednesday when people asked her if she was using taxpayer money.

He responded with a statement saying, “The First Daughter Office is a private body. It is neither a constitutional office nor is it funded by the Kenyan tax payer.”

He goes on to explain that his “office” has an “independent structure and facilitators” and lauds its “goals of supporting youth agendas and advocacy for climate change.”

Communications strategist Mark Bichachi told the BBC: “If it’s a private entity, why call it that? It’s using a private name, it’s related to the fact that his father is president.”

While political commentator Daisy Amdany said Ms Ruto was “within her rights” to do whatever she wants, but warned she had to be careful of the image she’s portraying: “It offends the public that her father came across [a] end dynasties platform and it seems like they want to establish dynasties, I don’t think that’s good.

Ruto won the August election against Raila Odinga, the son of a former vice president, supported by outgoing president Uhuru Kenyatta, himself the son of Kenya’s first leader.

“He probably means well, but it doesn’t look good,” Ms. Amdany continued.

Ms Ruto herself said some of the comments about her were “offensive” but that she knows she is doing the right thing by trying to help Kenya’s youth.

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