Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta was on Tuesday sworn in for a second and final five-year term, a month after winning a bitterly disputed election rerun marked by delays and boycott.
He took the oath on the same Bible used by his father — Kenya’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta in 1964. Reports reveal that even as Kenyatta’s inauguration happened, police across town opened fire on opposition demonstrators.
The opposition coalition attempted to gather for a “memorial rally” to honour the more than 50 people killed, mostly by security forces, in four months of political violence, according to the Daily Nation.
At least 23 Heads of State or their deputies joined thousands of Kenyans who gathered to witness the swearing in at the 60,000-seat Kasarani stadium – including Uganda President, Yoweri K. Museveni.
In his speech, President Kenyatta started a Prophet Isaiah proclamation; When you pass through the waters, I shall be with you. When you pass through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you. When you walk through fire, the flames will not consume you. (Isaiah 43:2)
“Our God is faithful.” Kenyatta started his speech. “He heard our voices when we cried out to Him. He listened, and answered our prayers. He has brought us thus far, and He will take us even further. This is the testimony of our country today; and for this we thank Him.”
He vowed to be the leader of all Kenyans and work to unite the country.
“It has been a trying time, but once again Kenyans have shown their resilience in calming the passions that accompany political competition – The path to a better future is unity. I believe that we can build a nation in which we live in peace with our brothers and sisters — whatever part of the country they come from, whichever way we worship God, whatever language we speak. Instead of division, I know that we can build a Kenya which prospers by rewarding hard work, and leaving no one behind,”
“This is my second and final term as President. I have taken on board the aspirations of the people of Kenya to move forward, and as I have before, I will dedicate all my energies and that of my Administration towards achieving two principal objectives over the next 5 years,” he continued.
Daily Nation said National Super Alliance (Nasa) leader Raila Odinga said, like President Uhuru Kenyatta, he will also be sworn in as “the people’s president”.
“He made the declaration moments before police used teargas to stop him and his supporters from marching to Jacaranda grounds in Embakasi, Nairobi, for a prayer rally,” Daily Nation reported.
Aljazeera contributed to this report.
By Paul D. Wasswa.