Deputy President William Ruto has rattled his competitors with the news that he will this weekend embark on a 10-day tour of the United States of America and the United Kingdom.
According to his Head of International Relations, Ababu Namwamba, Dr Ruto is scheduled to meet several US government officials and speak at three institutions and conclude with a meeting with the Kenyan Diaspora.
There is a similar schedule of visits in the United Kingdom and a notable audience with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.
“Kenya remains a stable regional anchor state and a valued member of the global community, and the Deputy President’s trip seeks to further strengthen ties with the country’s traditional friends and partners,” Mr Namwamba concluded.
The DP’s meetings were framed as a sign of the confidence he enjoys in the West, and Mr Namwamba’s role as the Chief Administrative Secretary in the Foreign Affairs ministry would have played a role in securing the meetings.
It is not possible to tell whether the meetings will have much of an impact on Kenya’s relations with the United States and the United Kingdom, but if they happen, Dr Ruto will have made some way in boosting his camp’s confidence.
Dr Ruto’s camp has been optimistic about the support from the West from what they see as thinly veiled signals of their support for him.
They play on a perception that the interests of the Chinese and Arab nations are with Raila Odinga.
Western nations’ diplomats are understood to have complained after they asked for an audience with the President and instead ended up meeting Cabinet Secretaries Dr Fred Matiang’i, Ukur Yatani, Joe Mucheru and Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau.