StandardPresident-elect Uhuru Kenyatta rallied Kenyans to
put behind a divisive campaign, pledging his Government would work for
all citizens and in the interest of the nation.
Sunday, March 10, 2013
In a 20-minute acceptance speech following his victory, Uhuru thanked
supporters, reached out to opponents and assured that his
administration will pursue good international relations.
The Jubilee presidential candidate secured 50.07 per cent of the
vote, according to the final tally by the Independent Electoral and
Uhuru, the son of Kenya’s founding President Jomo Kenyatta, garnered
6,173,433 votes against his closest opponent CORD’s Raila Odinga who
received 5,340,546 votes.
“My pledge as President is that I will work on behalf of all the citizens of Kenya regardless of party affiliation.
My Government will act without fear or favour in the interest of our
nation,” said Uhuru in a victory speech at the Jubilee Media Centre at
the Catholic University of East Africa accompanied by Deputy President-
elect William Ruto.
Raila has since rejected the outcome of what he described as “another tainted election” and vowed to petition the Supreme Court.
“It is democracy on trial,” Raila said in a press conference shortly
after the IEBC declared Uhuru the winner. “Let the Supreme Court decide
whether they are lawful. We are confident the court will restore the
faith of Kenyans in the democratic rule of law.”
The court petition, which will be heard within 14 days, will delay
the swearing-in of the President-elect. If the petition is unsuccessful,
Uhuru will be sworn into office on April 16, according to a power
transfer schedule the State has planned.
Earlier at 2.43pm yesterday, IEBC chairman Isaac Hassan had declared
Uhuru the winner of the closely contested March 4 presidential vote,
ending five dramatic days of wait.
Besides securing 50 per cent plus- one of the total votes cast,
Hassan said Uhuru obtained at least 25 per cent of the votes cast in 32
counties, eight more than the constitutional requirement.
“I therefore declare Mr Uhuru Kenyatta the duly elected President of
the Republic of Kenya,” Hassan pronounced to a rapturous roar at the
Bomas of Kenya National Tallying Centre.
Twenty-four minutes later, the President-elect and the Deputy
President- elect William Ruto made their way into the auditorium to
receive their certificates from the electoral chief to wild cheers from
That marked a transformation of their lives evident as trappings of
State power and elaborate security befitting the presidency were placed
at their disposal.
The two held a brief meeting at the VIP lounge from where the change in status would become evident.
Ruto, who was the first to emerge alongside his wife, Rachael, and daughter, found a ring of security officers on hand.
“Sir, from here, things have changed,” a police Inspector told Ruto
as supporters mobbed him. “We will not allow you to shake hands with
The Deputy President-elect and family were barred from using his
personal vehicle and were instead ushered into a dark blue Toyota Lexus
and driven off with unmarked police vehicles in tow.
Minutes later, Uhuru emerged surrounded by hawk-eyed presidential
security guards and he was ushered into a Mercedes Benz with the Kenyan
flag fluttering in the wind.
Police outriders led the way as his convoy drove to the Jubilee Media
Cen- tre at the Catholic University where hundreds of supporters
In his victory speech, Uhuru — who wore a dark suit, white and maroon
tie — was magnanimous, urging supporters to be “modest in victory” and
those who had voted for his opponents to “keep in mind the broader
victory of Kenya.”
Uhuru, whose The National Alliance party, struck a coalition deal
with Ruto’s United Republican Party, and thereafter brought on board
Charity Ngilu and Najib Balala, said he would run an all-inclusive
“This is not about me, it is about you the people of Kenya. You have
put your faith not in one man but in a team,” he said, sparking cheers
from inside the auditorium and outside where a larger crowd followed
proceedings on giant screens.
He also assured that his administration would forge closer ties with
the international community, given apprehension arising from perceived
opposition to his presidency by Western nations.
“The international community will respect the sovereignty and
democratic will of the people of Kenya,” he added, to another round of
applause. “We have the desire as a nation to live at peace with
ourselves, neighbours, continent and the rest of the world.”
Afterwards, they addressed cheering supporters on the grounds outside
the auditorium where they urged Raila to concede defeat, with Uhuru
saying “Kenya needed to move on.”