Farouk Kibet: Larger-than-life image of man with Ruto’s ear

Written by on 11 October 2022

None other than Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua graced a thanksgiving ceremony organised by Farouk Kibet on Sunday in Koilel, Uasin Gishu, capturing the man’s elevated influence in the new government.

The country’s second-in-command was accompanied by a huge entourage, mostly of influential men and women who are set to call the shots in the Kenya Kwanza administration for the next five years.

As President William Ruto’s government takes root, his personal aide Farouk, an evasive man who is feared and adored in equal measure, is yet again preparing to spread his raw power around State House as they prepare the foundation for a five-year tenure.  The calibre of politicians who attended the function at Koilel Secondary School showed how high Farouk is regarded in the Kenya Kwanza administration.

Besides Gachagua, National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula, House Majority Leader Kimani Ichungwah and senior political figures were present.

Farouk has been an omnipresent figure in the fifth President’s political life, spanning over two decades, although he has avoided the limelight.

Cog in the wheel

Gachagua, the chief guest at the ceremony, lavished praise on the man he said was a cog in the wheel of their victorious political vehicle.  

“Farouk is an important leader. He played a big role to ensure we won. We said hatupangwingwi (can’t be ordered) but we allowed him to order us, to organise meetings, ensure our visitors were well catered for. I had even asked the President to let him be with me but he refused. So, I’m now looking for my own Farouk,” said Gachagua. 

Wetangula also followed suit with his own accolades, saying Farouk was like a “mini-president.” “You are lucky to have people like Farouk, who is like the mini-President of Uasin Gishu, and they deliver. If you can’t see the President, they are there (to help),” the Speaker said.

During the function, former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, who had been ordered by Farouk to avoid misplaced theatrics, said they would play the Deep State role in the Ruto government. 

“I and Farouk are now the true Deep State. Anyone who touches the President will be swept aside,” said Sonko.

It is on recorded that no one can see Ruto without Farouk’s approval. Although there were questions about his place in Ruto’s rise to the top office, the concerns have been iced as it is clear he will continue occupying the same position he has for years. Farouk has been Ruto’s personal aide, although he has been performing extra roles including being a master of ceremony in political events.

The biggest role he is known for, however, is that of the doorkeeper who decides who meets Ruto, at what time and with what agenda.

With his role ascertained, he has been hovering around the President since the swearing-in ceremony on September 13. Although he does not hold any official position yet, he has never been far away from the new leader this past month, even with the presence of the new Aide de Camp. 

 On Sunday, Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro asserted that Farouk was not going anywhere, revealing his continued influence in Ruto’s political circle. 

“Farouk is a great man. People hear the name Farouk and they think he is someone you can go and find in some nice office in State House. But Farouk’s office is where he is. His office is like the President’s. You cannot see the President if Farouk says no. Even the DP cannot see the President unless Farouk permits it,” said Nyoro, a second-term MP who has also emerged as one of the President’s favourites.

Transport Cabinet Secretary-nominee Kipchumba Murkomen said Farouk enjoyed the power of organising Ruto’s functions, praising him for being firm and loyal.

“Farouk is somebody who can organise the President, the deputy and politicians until they are all orderly. May God bless him, his children and his family,” said Murkomen.  

Fledgling politicians

The friendship between the two dates back when they were fledgling politicians in Uasin Gishu, although Ruto has enjoyed more success in the political arena than his friend, who has only served as a nominated councillor. Despite his failure in politics, he is currently considered the most powerful man after Ruto. 

Over the past one year, Kenyans have got a glimpse of one of the most obscure fellows around Ruto, who wields raw power and exudes authority, as he became more prominent in political rallies, although away from the limelight.

Before then, he had opted to remain in the shadows, avoiding media inquisition, opting to be seen, albeit rarely, and not to be heard.

However, early this year when Ruto was formally endorsed as the United Democratic Alliance presidential candidate, Farouk’s rambunctious character was captured on camera as he ordered around senior party politicians. This attracted Kenyans’ curiosity, with many questioning the power he wielded in the group. 

Before the dust settled, he was again at the centre of attention as he instructed leaders congregating at the DP’s official residence in Karen to listen to his address after the Supreme Court confirmed his election on September 5.

Gachagua came to his aid, asking those who he might have stepped on during the campaigns to forgive him, saying he was performing his role as Ruto’s aide. 

Part of the job

“If he stepped on your toe or angered you in any way, he didn’t do it purposefully. It was part of his job, forgive him,” he said.

The Sunday event was held in Koilel in Ainabkoi, where Ruto has built a multi-million-shilling mansion although he still operates from his native Sugoi home some kilometres away in Turbo when he is away from Nairobi.

Not far from Ruto’s house is Farouk’s own mansion, although it is not as massive.

Speaking during the event, Farouk said the President would visit the area soon, bearing many goodies.

“The big man has sent me something which I will leave here but we will come and build this place because this is where he comes from. We must build better churches in Koilel and Uasin Gishu because this is the area of the big man (Ruto). We must not have dilapidated churches or schools here any more,” he said.

Farouk’s obscurity has, however, not been without scandal, although he has never been charged with any case in court.

His name featured in the National Youth Service scandal as one of the beneficiaries of the multi-billion-shilling syndicate, although he denied playing any role.

He was also mentioned in the collapse of the International Criminal Court case involving Ruto at the Hague.

Before the elections, he was also accused by Uasin Gishu businessman Bundotich Zedekiah Kiprop, alias Buzeki, of being heavy-handed while dealing with politicians, saying he was the one who had made it difficult for them to work with Ruto.

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