- A young boy captivated the nation after he was pictured walking barefoot with President Wiliam Ruto of Kenya
- Ruto invited Mutinda Mutuku to the state house alongside his mother for an unforgettable tour
- They walked around the expansive compound to see animal sculptures and planted a tree
A boy who accompanied President William Ruto barefoot during National Tree Planting Day has been given a tour of State House, Nairobi.
What did 'barefoot boy' do at the state house?
Mutinda Mutuku was honoured with a personalised tour of the house on the hill by Ruto on Tuesday, November 28, 2023.
Photos of Mutuku at the state house depicted him in a jovial mood, side by side with the head of state, admiring a stuffed lion and statues of wildebeests and crocodiles.
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The figures are some of the permanent art fixtures at the state house and remain an important testament to Kenya's rich wildlife history.
The trip followed concern about the boy's wellbeing.
According to Ruto, Mutuku is an environmental champion whose path he crossed at Kiu Wetlands in Makindu, Makueni County, on Monday, November 13, 2023.
The public holiday was dedicated to a nationwide tree-planting initiative as part of the country’s efforts to plant 15 billion trees by 2032 to combat climate change.
"Reconnected with Mutinda Mutuku, a young environmental champion I met during National Tree Growing Day at Kiu Wetlands in Makindu, Makueni County," Ruto captioned on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Who is Mutinda Mutuku?
Mutuku's photo was first posted online by former Starehe MP Charles Njagua, one of the dignitaries who had accompanied Ruto to Makueni.
"National Tree Planting Day. Green army," Jaguar captioned the photo.
Dressed in a light short-sleeved shirt and shorts with his slippers held in his hands, Mutuku captured the nation's heart.
His boyish can-do attitude and gleeful, ready-to-work march were in stark contrast to the over-the-top gumboot-clad state officials at the tree-planting event. To many on social media, Mutuku was the hero; he personified the essence of the National Tree Planting Day.
Following the post that Mutinda had been invited to State House, Kenyans lauded Ruto for the kind gesture.
Kenya to seek $1bn loan from China
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that Kenya had revealed plans to ask China for a $1 billion loan.
One of East Africa's largest economies, Kenya has accumulated more than 10.1 trillion shillings ($68 billion) in debt, a figure equivalent to 67 percent of its gross domestic product.
The cost of servicing the debt, mainly to China, has ballooned as Kenya's currency has fallen to record lows of around 148 shillings to the dollar, according to treasury data.
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