What you need to know:
- The white smoke was already there only that it had to be contained and not let out to waft through the air before D-Day.
- IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati had the key to the chimney. But he could contain the imminent for only so long.
- The chairman said the journey towards having a free and fair election was not easy as they worked under intimidation and threats.
The handwriting was already on the wall at the national tallying centre at the Bomas of Kenya some minutes to 2 am yesterday.
But this was not a warning of impending doom or misfortune by Prophet Daniel to Belshazzar, the acting King of Babylon. Rather than that of an imminent change of guard in the country.
After six days of anxiety, tension and palpable suspense; the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had brought the curtains down on a winding presidential results verification process.
To the outgoing President, the IEBC commissioners and the who-is-who; the fifth Head of State had already been known.
The white smoke was already there only that it had to be contained and not let out to waft through the air before D-Day.
IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati had the key to the chimney. But he could contain the imminent for only so long.
Then cometh the hour, cometh the man; with his steady slow but sure steps, he walked into the packed and expectant auditorium to perform his last constitutional duty before he bows out.
Mr Chebukati declared Dr William Ruto as the winner of last Tuesday’s presidential election after garnering 7,176,141 million votes against his closest competitor, Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party presidential candidate Raila Odinga, who garnered 6,942,930 million votes.
The chairman said the journey towards having a free and fair election was not easy as they worked under intimidation and threats.
He, however, did not say where the intimidations came from.
“The CEO and two other commissioners have been injured, our staff have been arrested and we don’t know where they are but we have a constitutional duty to perform and we have done it in accordance with the constitution and the laws of the land,” Mr Chebukati said. Delivering his acceptance speech, Dr Ruto adopted a conciliatory tone and extended an olive branch to his competitor Mr Odinga.
“I want to thank my worthy competitor Raila Odinga for a well-run campaign that was about issues. I want to promise that I will work with all leaders so that we fashion a country where all leaders are involved,” Dr Ruto said. He said this year's election was run well on issues, unlike previous ones that were based on ethnic groupings.
“Gratitude goes to the people of Kenya who refused to be boxed into tribal cocoons,” Dr Ruto said.
The President-elect also stressed that there were no losers in the elections and the biggest winners were millions of Kenyans who turned up to vote for their preferred candidates.
Dr Ruto also said he will not be vengeful against anyone who might have done something bad to him in his journey to clinch the presidency.
“I have no room for revenge. I am looking forward,” Dr Ruto said amidst cheers from supporters. He promised to run an open and transparent government and to work with the opposition to ensure oversight of the executive. He also had a message to the outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta, promising to continue with the work that they started together during their reign. He said he has won the Presidency against all odds and attributed the win to God.
“I know there were predictions that I would not get to the ballot but because of God, we are here,” Dr Ruto said.
He heaped praises on IEBC and Mr Chebukati for running a transparent election and putting all the results in their portal for the public to access.
“The electoral commission amazed all of us with the results in their portal, the servers were open and all you needed was a calculator and get the results. Mr Chebukati is our hero. Soft-spoken but firm,” Dr Ruto said.
Roots Party presidential candidate Prof George Wajackoyah addressing the press before the announcement of the official results claimed there was rampant theft of votes.
Anglican Church of Kenya Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit urged Kenyans to maintain peace and get on with other important duties of nation-building.
“The nation has been anxious, I want to urge Kenyans to let us put our anxiety aside and remain calm because we have an economy to grow, families to take care of and children to look after,” the cleric said.