Kihika to be sworn in on August 25

Nakuru county gubernatorial aspirant Susan Kihika after casting her vote at Komongo polling station in Bahati Nakuru county on August 9, 2022

Photo credit: Cheboite Kigen | Nation Media Group

Nakuru County governor-elect Susan Wakarura Kihika will be sworn in on August 25, if no petition is filed in court to challenge her victory in last week’s elections.

Nakuru County Secretary Benjamin Njoroge, who is part of the Assumption of Office of Governor team, made the revelation on Wednesday.

“The swearing-in of the governor-elect will take place on August 25. Plans are underway for the event, which will be a public ceremony,” said Mr Njoroge.

Ms Kihika, who was announced the winner of the governor’s race last week, becomes the first woman elected to Nakuru’s top seat and the third county boss after Lee Kinyanjui and Kinuthia Mbugua.

The law stipulates that the oath-taking take place on the first Thursday after the lapse of 10 days after the elections, not earlier than 10am and not later than 2pm.

“The Governor-elect shall, during the swearing-in ceremony, take and subscribe to the oath or affirmation of office as prescribed in the First Schedule section of the Assumption of the Office of Governor Act 2019,” the law states.

The Nation learnt that Ms Kihika will be sworn in by Justice Weldon Korir.

The law states that the swearing-in of a governor-elect should take place at a public ceremony before a High Court judge.

Last week, Chief Justice Martha Koome appointed 47 judges to preside over the swearing-in of governors.

Besides Justice Korir (Nakuru), some of the judges are William Musyoka (Kisumu), James Wakiaga (Nyeri), Roselyne Aburili (Nairobi), Rachael Ngetich (Garissa), Dora Chepkwony (Kakamega), and David Majanja (Machakos).

CJ Koome said the swearing-in would take place immediately after the winners of county seats are gazetted by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

The 2019 Assumption of Office of Governor Act requires that upon election of a governor and a deputy governor, the Judiciary should appoint judges to oversee their swearing-in ceremony.

Upon taking the oath, the governor is required to sign a certificate of inauguration in the presence of the judge.

Last week, Ms Kihika, who vied under the United Democratic Alliance, defeated Mr Kinyanjui (Jubilee), in results announced by the IEBC.

The IEBC said Ms Kihika garnered 440,707 votes against Mr Kinyanjui’s 225,623.

But Mr Kinyanjui disputed the results and vowed to pursue the matter in court.

At a press briefing on Saturday, he called for a forensic audit of the entire process, which he said was marred by glaring irregularities.

Mr Kinyanjui has questioned voting patterns at some polling stations.

He said his team was talking with legal and other technical teams, including ICT experts with a view to taking necessary action.

Mr Kinyanjui, who spoke in Naivasha, added that the number of votes for each seat did not tally with the final figures, wondering how some people only voted for one person.

He claimed voting was marred by irregularities, bribery and violence, and that agents were locked out of various polling stations.

If Mr Kinyanjui heads to court, the swearing-in will be put on hold.

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