William Ruto to be sworn in as President of Kenya

Kenya’s President-elect William Ruto speaks after the Supreme Court upheld his victory in Nairobi, Kenya September 5, 2022. REUTERS/Monicah Mwangi

Join now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

NAIROBI, Sept 13 (Reuters) – William Ruto is due to be sworn in as Kenya‘s fifth president on Tuesday, a week after the Supreme Court dismissed a veteran opposition lawsuit challenging his victory.

Ruto – a gifted speaker with a strong work ethic – will have to mitigate the impact of soaring global food and fuel prices for poor Kenyans, try to solve high unemployment and tackle the growing public debt that his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta has used to finance development over the past 10 years.

Ruto has been Kenyatta’s deputy since 2013, but they fell out after the last election. Kenyatta had backed opposition leader Raila Odinga to succeed him and denounced Ruto as unfit for office.

Join now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

“Mr. President-elect, as you walk your path to your inauguration and beyond, you will be president not just for those who voted for you but for all Kenyans,” Kenyatta said in a speech Monday evening, wishing good luck Ruto.

Odinga had filed a legal challenge accusing Ruto of cheating on his way to victory, but the Supreme Court denied his petition alongside several others. It was the fifth time Odinga, 77, has stood for election. Read more

“Democracy is meant to unite people, strengthen their society and improve its institutions and should not become an acrimonious, scary and hopeless enterprise,” Ruto tweeted after the decision.

“Those who voted for me as well as those who voted for my competitors want the same for themselves and for their children.”

Ruto, a 55-year-old former roadside chicken vendor who is now a wealthy businessman, presented himself as an outsider fighting the elite during the campaigns, pointing out that Odinga and Kenyatta were respectively the sons of the first vice-president and the first president of the country.

This message resonated with chronically underemployed youth and families, squeezed by poverty and endemic corruption, which Kenyatta has publicly admitted he was unable to rein in.

Ruto will be sworn in at the Kasarani Sports Center in the capital Nairobi in a ceremony attended by regional leaders. Television footage on Monday showed a military band training alongside their fellow soldiers perfecting their drills.

Kenya is a key Western ally in a volatile region, and East Africa’s richest and most influential nation. It houses the regional headquarters of many global companies and organizations.

Join now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Written by George Obulutsa; Editing by Alison Williams

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

About Bradley J. Bridges

Check Also

Kenya: Improving access to family planning

Download logo Kenya has recorded an improvement in family planning uptake among women of reproductive …