Ruto’s Chief of Staff joins swearing-in committee
President-elect William Ruto’s Chief of Staff Davies Chirchir has been co-opted in the team that is preparing for his swearing in if his win is not successfully challenged in the Supreme Court.
Ruto has already seconded National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, his UDA party Secretary-General Veronica Maina and Uasin Gishu Woman Representative Gladys Shollei to the Assumption of the Office of President Committee.
The team chaired by Head of Civil Service Joseph Kinyua has been established by the Assumption of the Office of President Act to ensure a smooth handover of power from outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta to his successor. Uhuru is leaving office after serving for the constitutionally required two terms.
The committee was activated a week ago as the IEBC prepared to declare the winner of the contest and has now been fully constituted following the secondment of Ruto’s representatives.
Chirchir, a former Energy Cabinet Secretary, is a powerful figure in Ruto’s inner circle and his inclusion is expected to boost the numbers in the Kinyua committee.
Muturi confirmed Chirchir had been co-opted to the team, saying they were expecting to attend a meeting today.
“We have just come from our meeting right now. We have our representation in the team led by myself, Shollei, Maina and we have also co-opted Chirchir,” the Speaker told People Daily on Friday.
Chirchir served as Energy CS between 2013 and 2015 and was hounded out of office following corruption claims although he was never charged in court for any of the allegations. Early this year, he made a comeback after he was picked as Ruto’s Chief of Staff after the death of Ken Osinde.
Muturi has been picked as the team leader and tasked with ensuring Ruto’s expectations are fully captured in the team.
Yesterday, Muturi confirmed they will be attending another meeting today as Raila’s lawyers are expected to head to the top court to challenge Ruto’s victory. “It (the committee) will meet and the agenda will be circulated at the meeting,” he said.
The Act allows co-opting of more members in the committee that already comprises over 20 people. Those added to it will mostly members of sub-committees
“The Committee may co-opt into the membership of a sub-committee established under subsection (1), persons whose knowledge and skills are considered necessary for the functions of the Committee,” says the Act that was enacted in 2012.
Last week, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chair Wafula Chebukati declared Ruto the winner in the presidential race saying he had garnered 7,176,141 beating his main competitor Raila who got 6,942,930 votes.
The declaration has been rejected by Raila who claims to have been robbed of victory and plans to file a petition challenging the results at the Supreme Court today.
If the court entertains his petition, then it will have two weeks to hear and issue a determination. If the top court declares Ruto was validly elected, he will be sworn in a week after the determination of the case.
The committee will be in charge of the swearing-in ceremony expected to be held at the Kasarani Stadium.