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Kenya: President's daughter defends the existence of office of first daughter

BY: bbc.com
Kenyan President William Ruto’s second-born daughter, Charlene
Kenyan President William Ruto’s second-born daughter, Charlene

Kenyan President William Ruto’s second-born daughter, Charlene, has defended her remarks on the existence of an office of the first daughter.

Kenyan law does not recognise the office of the first daughter.

In a statement, Ms Ruto says the office is not a government department but is a "private entity".

"It is neither a constitutional office nor being funded by Kenyan taxpayers. The office runs to purely facilitate the activities of and any programs being run by Charlene Ruto," the statement said.

It follows criticism over what some saw as a misuse of taxpayers’ money.

Ms Ruto has been regularly meeting leaders across the country and attending international forums meeting foreign dignitaries since her father became president.

Kenyans online are expressing disbelief over the apparent existence of the office.

In a video being shared widely online, Charlene Ruto is seen speaking to an audience at a summit in Tanzania where she introduces her “team from Kenya” including her adviser and another who is the “head of trade and investments at the office of the first daughter”.

The audience appear to respond loudly with claps and some laughter.

“I don’t get what is funny,” Ms Ruto responds as she attempts to continue with the introductions.

Kenyans online have been criticising what some see as a misuse of taxpayers’ money.

"Charlene Ruto introducing her team from the office of the first daughter who are paid with taxpayers money despite being an illegal office," a Kenyan on Twitter says.

Another asks how the office was established and shares the video:

Ms Ruto has been regularly meeting leaders across the country and attending international forums meeting foreign dignitaries since her father became president.

She has been among the most trending topics online on Wednesday.

She has sparked online debates in the past amid her many political engagements - and has been nicknamed Quickmart Ivanka on Twitter, a mockery of her similarities with Ivanka Trump, the daughter of former US president Donald Trump.