ADDIS ABABA – Prime Minister of Ethiopia attends as William Samoei Ruto takes oaths of the office of the President today.
Ruto is the fifth president of the republic of Kenya since independence in 1963.
Prime minister Abiy Ahmed was among 20 African heads of states attending for the swearing in ceremony held at Nariobi’s Kasarani Stadium.
President Ruto’s oaths of office were administered by the chief of Justice Martha Koome. This was after Rigathi Gachagua, 57, was sworn in to become his deputy.
During the event, outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta handed over the symbols of power – a sword and a copy of Kenya’s constitution to the new president.
In his inauguration speech, President Ruto vowed to fulfil his campaign promises including creating jobs for Kenyan youth.
Ruto also said his “immediate agenda is to create a favourable business and enterprise environment, decriminalize livelihoods and support people in the informal sector to organise themselves into stable, viable and creditworthy business entities. This is the essence of the bottom-up economic model.”
The President also promised to adress challenges related to cost of living and draught.
“We are alive to the challenges of drought that face seven counties, which are now at ‘alarm’ and 13 that are at alert stages respectively,” he said. “We are determined to ensure that no county slips into the emergency phase and will coordinate with county governments, which are the first line of response.”
On regional issues, the president said Kenya will remain dedicated partner to peace, security and prosperity in the East African region.
Ruto beat Kenya’s veteran politician Raila Odinga, in a close election. Last week, the Supreme Court dismissed several petitions that had challenged Ruto’s win.
Thousands of Kenyans turned out to witness the ceremony at the 60,000-seater capacity stadium.
However, Ruto’s main rival Odinga did not attend the ceremony after citing “serious concerns” about the election results in a statement.
Odinga said he believes the electoral commission did not conduct a free and fair election, and the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the presidential election results was not based on facts and the law, though he respected it.
Odinga said his coalition would soon announce the next steps to strengthen democracy in the country.
“We can only do so if we reform and transform the key institutions that are charged with protecting and advancing our democracy,” he said.
Featured Image Caption: The Sworn in ceremony took place in a 60,000-seater national stadium in Nairobi on Tuesday Sept 13, 2022. [Photo State House Kenya]