World leaders to grace Ruto inauguration today
At least 18 Heads of State and Government had by last evening confirmed attendance of today’s inauguration of President-Elect William Ruto as Kenya’s next President and Commander-in-Chief as the nation looks to a peaceful transfer of power for the third time since the return of multi-partism three decades ago.
They will be joined by at least 50 senior foreign diplomats and officials representing their nations, as Kenya begins a new chapter on democracy 59 years after independence.
A list seen by People Daily indicated a strong presence of African and overseas dignitaries who will be joining thousands of Kenyans gathered today at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi to witness the elevation of Ruto as the country’s fifth President and former Mathira MP Geoffrey Rigathi Gachagua as his deputy.
The Assumption of Office of the President Committee has been overseeing preparations for today’s ceremony.
It comprises a number of top government officials and those seconded by Ruto. Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho yesterday said everything was in place to ensure the security and movement of visiting dignitaries.
Gates open 4am
“We have protocols for all visiting Heads of State ready,” he said, adding that Kenyans should get into the stadium early since the gates would be open from 4am.
“We expect them to be seated by 7am as we wait for the arrival of VIPs. The programme starts at 10.30am,” said Kibicho.
Ruto was declared winner of the August 9 presidential elections by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission after garnering 7.1 million votes. This handed him a first-round victory.
A case challenging his win at the Supreme Court was dismissed on Monday last week for lack of evidence to back claims made by his rival, Raila Odinga, and six other petitioners.
The dismissal paved the way for his swearing-in fete today.
Uganda President Yoweri Museveni, his Tanzanian counterpart Samia Suluhu and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame are expected to headline the event set to start at 10am. Other presidents expected are Salva Kiir (South Sudan), Filipe Nyuso (Mozambique), Denis Sassou Nguesso (Republic of Congo), Felix Tshisekedi (DR Congo), Ismail Guelleh (Djibouti), Brahim Ghali (Sahrawi Republic), Emmerson Mnangagwa (Zimbabwe) and S.E.M Azali Assousmani (Comoros).
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is also expected at the ceremony, as well as Presidents Umaro Embalo (Guinea-Bissau), Lazarus Chakwera (Malawi), Evariste Ndayishimiye (Burundi), Wavel Ramkalawan (Seychelles), Sheikh Mohamud (Somalia) and Eswatini Prime Minister Cleopas Dlamini. Vice-Presidents David Mabuza (South Africa), Yemi Osinbajo (Nigeria), Teodoro Nguema (Equatorial Guinea) and Mahamadu Bawumia (Ghana) are also expected at the occasion.
The United States, the United Kingdom, France and Israel will also be represented, led by Cabinet ministers.
Former Germany President Christian Wulff is also expected at the ceremony.
Cuba, which has nurtured warm relationships with Kenya the past five years, will also be sending Deputy Prime Minister Ines Maria Chapman. The two countries have witnessed a blossoming partnership, especially in the health sector where doctors from the Caribbean nation have been sent to the country to boost the doctor-patient ratio and also transfer medical skills.
Chapman is already in the country and was yesterday hosted by National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula.
“Cuban doctors have revolutionized the health sector in Kenya and Kenyans are happy about it,” Wetangula said.
The African Union’s Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki will be representing the continental body.
Local leaders have been tasked with welcoming and accompanying each of the presidents to Kasarani. For instance, Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru will be escorting Suluhu to the venue while her Embu counterpart Cecily Mbarire will be accompanying President Ramkalawan.
All the guests are expected to be at the Stadium by 10am when the ceremony will begin, as required by the Assumption of Office of the President Act.
As per the law, the event must be held between 10am and 2pm. It will be overseen by the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary, Anne Amadi, who will administer the oath of office in the presence of Chief Justice Martha Koome.