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Kenyatta sworn in as new president

09 April 2013, 14:58 Omondi Oloo

Nairobi - Kenya’s political story reached a milestone today when Uhuru Kenyatta, son of the country’s founding president Jomo, was sworn in as its fourth president. 

The new president took the oath of allegiance just after 1pm, opening a new chapter in the East African country’s political and democratic life. 

“In full realisation of the requirements of this office, I do swear that I will be faithful and owe true allegiance to the Republic of Kenya. I will obey and protect the Constitution of Kenya. I will protect and uphold the sovereignty, integrity and dignity of the people of Kenya. So help me God,” he said. 

Kenya’s Judiciary Registrar Glady’s Shollei administered the oath witnessed by Chief Justice and Supreme Court President Willy Mutunga at the Moi Sports Complex in Nairobi. 

Kenyatta was given a copy of the constitution and a sword of honour, symbols of the levers of power that he now controls.  Kenyatta, accompanied by his wife Margaret, waved a copy of the constitution to cheering crowds.

He faces a tough task of implementing the new constitution, promulgated in 2010, which changes Kenya to a pure presidential system with 47 devolved county units.

Kenyatta’s deputy William Ruto also took his oath of office, promising to uphold the constitution and sovereignty of the Kenya. 

“I do swear that I will uphold the constitution as I hold the office of the deputy president of the republic of Kenya. I will perform my functions to the best of my ability. I will faithfully owe allegiance to the President and the Republic of Kenya. So help me God,” Ruto said as he took his oath. 

After the oaths, Chief Justice Mutunga conferred on Kenyatta and Ruto the official certificate of inauguration.

Kenyatta and Ruto are both suspects at the International Criminal Court, which accuses them of bearing the greatest responsibility for the 2007 political violence in Kenya, which led to the killing of 1,300 people.

Although they have denied the charges, their decision to run for Kenya’s top jobs has placed them on a collision course with Europe and the US, who argue they should have cleared their names first. 

Some countries have threatened to slap economic sanctions on Kenya.  Several African heads of states are attending the ceremony including South African President Jacob Zuma and Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe. 

- CAJ News

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