President William Ruto’s third-born daughter Charlene Ruto has shed light on the funding of the Office of the First Daughter after a backlash online.
Charlene came under the spotlight on Wednesday after revealing that she runs the Office of the First Daughter, complete with members of staff.
She introduced the members of her team while addressing delegates at the 2022 YouLead Summit held in Arusha, Tanzania, on Tuesday, December 13.
In a statement on Wednesday afternoon, Charlene clarified that the said office is a private entity not funded by the taxpayer.
According to Charlene, the core mandate of the entity is to facilitate youth empowerment and climate change advocacy programs that she is currently engaged in.
“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,” Charlene said.
She added: “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.”
“The Office of the First Daughter has at all times acted in good faith to ensure that the Kenyan Youth have a voice and get access to opportunities to enable sustainable livelihoods.”
Among the staff, who accompanied Charlene to Tanzania, were her advisor Mike Sagana and Jermaine Momanyi, the Head of Trade and Investments at the Office of the First Daughter.
“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,” Charlene said, arousing laughter and clapping from the audience.
Charlene Ruto’s whirlwind tours
Charlene has in recent weeks captured the nation’s attention with a series of highly publicised public engagements.
The events, local and abroad, have generated debate on social media about the role of the first daughter, considering that the children of the past four presidents rarely operated in the public limelight.
On November 24, the First Daughter met Narok county officials, including governor Patrick Ole Ntutu.
Speaking after the meeting Charlene conveyed her father’s message that calls on all citizens to own up tree-growing initiatives and plant 300 trees each in their respective farms in the next 5 years.
She said she is on a mission to urge Kenyans to be part of the solutions to the dangerous levels of climate change which can be achieved through tree planting.
Apart from tree planting Charlene, who is a Director at the Weston Hotel on Lang’ata Road, said she is on a tour of counties to hold talks with leaders and Kenyans centred on tourism, agriculture, and youth empowerment.
“For example, tree planting can be one source of creating employment among the youths who can be given the mandate to manage tree nurseries and let them sell seedlings to Kenyans,” Charlene said after she participated in a tree planting exercise at the Narok county headquarters.
“We want to help the President and the whole world to tackle climate change and all issues that impact negatively on people’s livelihood and the economy through our campaign.”
To realize the required tree cover, she called on county governments to take tree planting seriously. She reiterated President Ruto’s call of planting 15 million trees in 10 years in their regions and especially by including tree planting in school programs.
Recently, she also held a meeting with Morocco’s Youth minister, Mohammed Mehdi.