President-elect William Ruto to be sworn into office on Tuesday, Kinyua confirms

Assumption of office team

Assumption of Office Committee chairperson Joseph Kinyua addressing the media at the Office of the President on September 6, 2022 on their preparations on transition of power.

Photo credit: Jeff Angote I Nation Media Group

Preparations for William Ruto’s inauguration as the fifth President of the Republic of Kenya are in top gear.

The Assumption of Office Committee, which is tasked with facilitating handover of the instruments of power to the incoming government, met Tuesday to put final touches to transition plans.

The meeting at Harambee House, Nairobi, came a day after President Uhuru Kenyatta assured the country of a smooth transition.

Four representatives of the President-elect – former National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, United Democratic Alliance secretary-general Veronica Maina, Ms Gladys Boss Shollei and Mr Davis Chirchir – attended the meeting, which was chaired by Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua.

Safeguard interests

The four representatives have reportedly been tasked with ensuring Dr Ruto’s interests are safeguarded in the transition process.

A technical committee yesterday held a meeting at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi, as part of preparations for Dr Ruto’s swearing-in ceremony, which is scheduled for Tuesday next week.

The military has also been conducting rehearsals at Kasarani, where security has since been tightened ahead of the event, which is expected to be attended by thousands of Kenyans, heads of missions and a number of heads of state.

Constitutional requirement

Article 141 of the Constitution says the swearing-in of the President-elect shall be in public before the Chief Justice or the Deputy Chief Justice on the first Tuesday following the 14th day after the date of the declaration of the result of the presidential election if no petition has been filed.

Or in the event of a petition, the seventh day following the date on which the Supreme Court renders a decision declaring the election to be valid. “That date is Tuesday, September 13 and the ceremonies shall be held at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani. The date shall be a public holiday of general observance throughout the territory of the Republic,” Dr Kinyua said.

The Head of Public Service added that, as per the Constitution, the President-elect shall take the oath of office as administered by the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary before the Chief Justice between 10am and 2pm, followed by the Deputy President-elect.

“With the presidential election cycle now behind us, the Swearing-in and inauguration ceremony is an opportunity for the nation to not only witness and usher in our nation’s fifth administration but also celebrate the strength and vibrancy of our constitutional and democratic processes, which differentiate Kenya from so many other nations in Africa and beyond,” he added.

Seamless process

Handover preparations began on August 12, when the committee held its inaugural meeting and assured the public of a seamless process.

The team’s role includes organising the necessary facilities and personnel for the President-elect, facilitating communication between the President-elect and the outgoing President, as well as preparing the programme of activities for the swearing-in ceremony.

In May, the National Treasury committee allocated Sh200 million to cater for transition of power activities.

“Sh200 million has been provided in the Financial year 2022-2023 budget to undertake Assumption of Office activities to ensure a smooth transition to the next administration after the general election,” the 2022 Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Report notes.

As the nation awaits Dr Ruto’s swearing-in, the military has yet to bid farewell to President Kenyatta, their outgoing Commander in Chief, as they did with former presidents Mwai Kibaki and Daniel Moi in 2013 and 2002 respectively. Rehearsals have been ongoing for a while now for a colourful send-off that is likely to take place before the weekend.

Guard of honour

During a farewell ceremony, an outgoing president inspects his final guard of honour, mounted by soldiers in their ceremonial red tunics, flanked by the Chief of Defence Forces and receives symbolic gifts from the military, including a neatly packed military uniform.

A less-than-three-hour farewell event for former President Kibaki was held at the Moi Airbase Barracks in Nairobi in 2013, during which he was handed, among other things, a tractor, a military uniform, four Friesian cows, a complete Kenya Army red tunic packed in a glass chamber and a portrait of him after inspecting a past guard of honour.