William Samoei Ruto has officially been declared the President of Kenya following his swearing-in ceremony.
The 55-year-old was sworn in by the Chief Judge, Martha Koome, on Tuesday, September 13, 2022, at a ceremony held in the packed Moi International Sports Centre in Kasarani.
Amid cheers from the excited crowd, Ruto swore an oath of allegiance and another oath for the execution of the functions of the office.
Ruto also appended his signature to the corresponding documents, as seen in the live broadcast monitored by our correspondent on Tuesday.
With his inauguration, Ruto becomes the fifth president of Independent Kenya, and the second ethnic Kalenjin after the late Daniel Arap Moi to hold the office.
Hours before his inauguration, the outgoing president Uhuru Kenyatta congratulated Ruto on his victory in the August 9 poll.
“As a hallmark of our democracy, therefore, I will, before God and my fellow countrymen, handover the instruments of power to our new president at the Moi International Sports Center Kasarani and with that, the fourth administration will come to an end and the tenure of the fifth administration will begin.”
“My family and I join all Kenyans in wishing the very best to our next President Dr. William Samoei Ruto and extending to him our warmest congratulations for receiving the mandate of Kenyans to lead us as our 5th president,” Uhuru said.
The Vice President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo, was also at the swearing-in ceremony.
Osinbajo’s media aide, Laolu Akande, made this known in a tweet which read, “VP Osinbajo now in Nairobi, Kenya where he is representing Nigeria at the inauguration of Dr. William Ruto as Kenya’s fifth President today.
“On arrival, VP congratulates ‘the people of Kenya on this celebration of democracy,’ and added, ‘God bless the Republic of Kenya’.”
A notoriously ambitious politician who has been deputy president since 2013, Ruto beat his rival Raila Odinga — who had been backed by outgoing president Uhuru Kenyatta — by less than two percentage points in the August 9 poll.
The 55-year-old rags-to-riches businessman, who once sold chickens on the roadside, now faces a daunting task to steer a polarised country gripped by a cost-of-living crisis and punishing drought.
His rise to State House has been closely watched by the international community, which looks to Kenya as a reliable and stable democracy in a turbulent region.