NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenyan president-elect Uhuru Kenyatta took the
oath of office on Tuesday, promising to prioritize unity in his
second and final five-year term.
Security had been
heightened both inside and outside the Kasarani Stadium in
Nairobi, venue of the swearing-in ceremony, with heavily armed
military officers manning the place.
Kenyatta won the
Oct. 26 repeat election with 7.48 million votes in 266 out of
291 constituencies where the election took place. This
represents about 98.27 percent of valid votes.
When addressing the
audience at the swearing-in ceremony, Kenyatta pledged to work
toward uniting Kenyans who have been divided along ethnic lines,
and to respect the rule of law.
Kenyatta, who took the oaths of allegiance and office
administered by Registrar of Judiciary Anne Amadi and witnessed
by Chief Justice David Maraga, promised to build bridges by
reaching out to his adversaries to develop the east African
“I have begun
reaching out to all leaders, across the political divide,
restating my commitment and expressing my willingness to work
with them, to achieve this objective of nationhood,” Kenyatta
Over the next five
years, Kenyatta said, his government shall invest heavily in
securing water towers and river ecosystems to harvest and
sustainably exploit the potential of water resources.
“We shall take steps
to address idle arable land ownership and utilization. We shall
take steps to encourage and facilitate large-scale commercial
agriculture to help diversify our staples. We shall redesign
subsidies to the sector to ensure they target improvements in
food yields and production quality,” he said.
NAIROBI (Xinhua) —
Kenyan president-elect Uhuru Kenyatta greets the crowd
during the sworn-in ceremony in Nairobi, Kenya, on Nov.
28, 2017. Kenyan president-elect Uhuru Kenyatta took the
oath of office on Tuesday, promising to prioritize unity
in his second and final five-year term.
XINHUA PHOTO: CHEN CHENG
ceremony was punctuated by jubilation, songs and dancing from
the mammoth crowd.
swearing-in paved way for him to start his final term in office
after a tumultuous electioneering period marked by nullification
of his victory in the Aug. 8 polls over irregularities as well
as polarization in the country.
Both the president
and his deputy, William Ruto, swore to protect and uphold the
sovereignty, integrity and dignity of the people of Kenya.
“I will always truly
and diligently serve the people and the Republic of Kenya in the
Office of the President,” Kenyatta said, and the crowd
responded, “Yes sir.”
Kenyatta vowed to
unite the country and promote economic growth after a fractious
“I undertake to be
the custodian of the dreams of every Kenyan and devote energy to
build bridges. The elections are now firmly behind us and now we
have an opportunity to build a Kenya that rewards hard work and
leaves no one behind,” said Kenyatta.
Dozens of foreign
leaders, diplomats and local dignitaries attended the ceremony.
Kenyatta spelt out a
new vision for the country anchored on national cohesion,
respect to the rule of law, economic vitality and universal
access to basic services like housing, education and health.
“During my second
and final term in office, I have taken on board aspirations of
Kenyans and will endeavor to strengthen the ties that bind us as
Kenyans at levels of society,” Kenyatta said.
He promised Kenyans
that his government will deliver full health coverage; build
half a million homes in the next five years and revitalize the
manufacturing sector to unleash new jobs for the youth.
will focus on agro-processing, mining and extractive industries,
leather and value addition to create jobs for young people. We
shall reach out to key trading partners to open new markets for
our products,” he added.
Kenyatta promised to
re-engineer the agriculture sector to boost food security in the
country against a backdrop of recurrent droughts linked to
“Over the next five
years, we shall invest heavily to protect our water towers,
promote water harvesting and diversify food production,”
He pledged to
strengthen bilateral and multilateral ties with Kenya’s
partners in key areas like trade and the fight against
At the same time,
the president announced that Africans visiting Kenya will
receive visa at the ports of entry.
He reaffirmed his
commitment to regional cooperation and announced that citizens
from member states of the East African Community will only
require a national identification card to visit Kenya.
In his speech,
Kenyatta also thanked Kenya’s international partners and friends
for standing with the country during the election period.
“Kenya is a proud
member of the community of nations, and we will always work hard
to remain a force for good. We will continue to strengthen our
economic ties and bilateral and multilateral relations,” he
He promised that the
country would continue fighting against international terrorism.
Super Alliance (NASA) leader Raila Odinga had said that he did
not recognize the October 2017 elections. On Tuesday, local
media reported that Odinga announced that he would be “sworn-in”
as “president” on Jamhuri Day, which is celebrated on Dec. 12.
There were also
reports that at least three people were killed and several
others injured on Tuesday in Nairobi as police engaged NASA
supporters in running battles at Nairobi’s Jacaranda grounds,
where opposition leaders had planned to hold a memorial service.