President Uhuru Kenyatta has taken the oath of office for his second and final five-year term.
Uhuru, who came out winner after two elections which lasted for four months, was sworn-in on Tuesday to thunderous cheers from tens of thousands of supporters.
“I swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Republic of Kenya; that I will obey, preserve, protect and defend this Constitution of Kenya, as by law established, and all other laws of the Republic; and that I will protect and uphold the sovereignty, integrity, and dignity of the people of Kenya”, said Mr. Kenyatta as he clutched a bible.
According to the master of ceremony, Duncan Okello, the Bible used is the same one used by Uhuru’s father, Kenya’s first President, Jomo Kenyatta, at his own swearing-in at Independence.
Uhuru also pledged to “do justice to all in accordance with this Constitution, as by law established, and the laws of Kenya, without fear, favor, affection or ill-will”
The oath of office was administered by Anne Amadi, the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary.
Jubilee Party supporters were in a celebratory mood all through the event from when Uhuru arrived Kasarani Stadium, and even more when Chief Justice David Maraga referred to him as President.
Deputy President William Ruto also took his oath, as the crowd chanted, “2022” when he was introduced.
This was the 8th swearing-in in Kenya after Jomo Kenyatta (1964), Daniel Arap Moi (1978, 1992, and 1997), Mwai Kibaki (2002, 2007) and now Uhuru Kenyatta (2013, 2017).
Hon. Raila Odinga did not attend the swearing-in ceremony as he protests what he describes as political injustice in Kenya.
Uhuru’s victory at the polls may have brought an end to his political career as the 72-year-old has said he will not run in 2022 though there is no constitutional reason barring him from doing so.
Speaking to the BBC on Tuesday morning, Raila, who has dominated Kenya’s opposition politics for years and has received accolades for it as well as avid followers, said Uhuru’s swearing-in for a second term was a “mere coronation”.
“It’s a coronation rather than an inauguration. We don’t believe he was legitimately elected as leader of Kenya,” said Mr. Odinga.
He further warned the international community against engaging Kenyatta’s administration, saying there will be no peace for them to do business with the government.