President William Ruto says he has had a rough time trying to settle a bet he lost to First Lady Rachel Ruto after Messi and Argentina pipped Mbappe and France to the World Cup trophy.
Speaking on Wednesday, Ruto joked about how he had been struggling to pay up before he and Mama Rachel reached a compromise.
“As you know, I took the unprecedented step, in the heat of the moment, and placed a bet with a close relative and friend. I lost the bet. Even though I look okay, deep down, I have been struggling to pay,” the President said.
Ruto said they held intense negotiations and agreed that he would settle the bet by planting 47 million trees in one month.
“After intense negotiation, the First Lady agreed to commute the payment to a personal undertaking on my part to plant 47 million trees over the next month. This is supplementary to the effort we are launching today.”
President Ruto spoke during the launch of the National Programme for Accelerated Forestry and Rangelands Restoration at Ngong hills, Kajiado county.
The event coincided with his 56th birthday, which he commemorated by planting 56 trees.
Ruto said he accepted the terms of the bet and will be planting a million trees in every county, starting this Christmas.
He urged his friends to help him as he embarks on the ambitious tree-planting exercise.
“I will be calling on my friends of all ages and walks of life to come to my rescue and chip into this effort,” he said.
Ruto at the same time called on young people to give betting a break and focus on the opportunities in the programme and in the rest of the government’s Bottom Up agenda for economic transformation.
“Be part of our national green league.”