Celebrations erupted Monday evening in various towns in the Mt Kenya region after IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati announced Kenya Kwanza Alliance flagbearer William Ruto the winner of the presidential election held on August 9, 2022.
Dr Ruto beat his closest challenger Raila Odinga of Azimio la Umoja by garnering 7.1 million votes, representing 50.49 per cent of the total valid votes, while Mr Odinga garnered 6.9 million votes, representing 48.85 per cent of the total valid votes.
In Kirinyaga County, jubilant residents poured into the streets to celebrate Dr Ruto’s win.
Dancing while carrying wheelbarrows — the symbol of Dr Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance — the residents said they were proud of the victory.
Business came to stand still in Kutus, Kerugoya, Ngurubani, Kimunye and other towns as joyous residents came out to celebrate the president-elect.
They obstructed motorists as they marched, causing major traffic snarl-ups in all the streets in the region.
The residents recalled how they woke up early to cast votes in favour of Dr Ruto.
“Our efforts have borne fruit and that is why we are celebrating. God is great," one of the residents shouted.
The residents vowed to continue celebrating throughout the night.
Businesses at standstill
In Meru town, business came to a standstill as residents took to the streets to celebrate Dr Ruto’s win.
Traders shut their shops and poured into the streets blowing horns and vuvuzelas.
Motorists blared their horns as boda boda riders threw caution to the wind as they showcased dangerous stunts in the streets with their motorcycles.
Women screamed as others chanted prayers of thanksgiving as they walked home hurriedly to absorb the good news.
In Tharaka Nithi County, residents led by Governor-elect Muthomi Njuki burst into celebrations following Mr Chebukati’s announcement at the Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi.
At Kibung'a market in Tharaka constituency, traders burst into songs of praise and knelt down to thank God for the victory.
Cost of living
They expressed confidence that with Dr Ruto as president, the cost of living will go down and that they will also be empowered economically.
Ms Mary Mutegi, one of the traders, said they woke up early in the morning on August 9 to vote for Dr Ruto and they were glad that he had emerged the winner.
She asked the President-elect to work closely with Governor Njuki’s administration in order to develop their region that they said has been left behind.
"We are optimistic that with Ruto as the president, we will have water for irrigation, good roads and the cost of living will go down," said Ms Mutegi.
Governor Njuki, who spoke to the Nation by phone, said Dr Ruto has a clear victory and that those who are not contented should move to court but not incite their supporters.
"I am proud of my people because they voted Ruto by over 95 per cent and we are confident that our country will improve," said Mr Njuki.
He expressed confidence that Tharaka Nithi County will feature prominently in Dr Ruto's government because of the great support that it has offered him.
He urged the few who are allied to the Azimio leader Raila Odinga to put aside their personal interests and support those who have won in developing the country.
Mr Njuki, Senator-elect Mwenda Gataya, Women Rep-elect Susan Ngugi, all the three MPs-elect and the 15 ward representatives who were elected on August 9, 2022 are allied to Dr Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza.
Reporting by George Munene, Charles Wanyoro, Alex Njeru and David Muchui