“To those who have done many things against us, I want to tell them there’s nothing to fear. There will be no vengeance. We do not have the luxury to look back.”
These were the words of William Ruto, who was declared winner of the Kenyan Presidential election by the Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) today, August 15.
The electoral body had said: “In accordance with the Constitution and the law, I, chairperson of the IEBC, hereby declare that Ruto William Samoei has been duly elected as the President of the Republic of Kenya under the provision of Article 138 of the Constitution of the Presidential election held on August 9, 2022,” Wafula Chebukati, Chairman of the IEBC, said.
Ruto polled 7,176,141 votes in the last Tuesday’s election, representing 50.07 per cent of the total votes cast to beat his rival, Raila Odinga. Ruto secured the minimum 25 per cent of votes in 39 counties.
In his speech, President-elect, Ruto thanked the electoral commission for overseeing the election, saying: “it is a wonderful evening… all sovereign power belongs to the people of Kenya”, Ruto said, calling Mr Chebukati a “hero.”
“To those who have done many things against us, I want to tell them there’s nothing to fear. There will be no vengeance. We do not have the luxury to look back.
“There are no losers. The people of Kenya have won because we raised the political bar. There is no looking back. We are looking to the future. We need all hands on deck to move forward.”
However, four of the seven members of the electoral commission had refused to endorse the result, saying it was “opaque.”
“We cannot take ownership of the result that is going to be announced because of the opaque nature of this last phase of the general election.
“We are going to give a comprehensive statement… and again we urge Kenyans to keep calm. There is an open door that people can go to court and the rule of law will prevail”, said Juliana Cherera, the Vice-Chairman of IEBC.
Chebukati said he had done his duty despite receiving threats.
“I took an oath of office to serve this country and I have done my duty in accordance with the constitution and the laws of the land. We have walked the journey of ensuring that Kenyans get a free fair and credible election. It has not been an easy journey – right now two of my commissioners and the CEO are injured,” he said.
Meanwhile, Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Ruto over the electoral victory, praising the people of Kenya for the peaceful and transparent outcome of the elections.
In a statement today, August 15 by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, President Buhari said that the election demonstrated that the democratic process, values and principles remained the best way for the people to select their leaders and hold them accountable.
President Buhari said that Nigeria valued Kenya as a strategic partner in the fight against terrorism and violence extremism, buoyed by a long history of friendship, economic and trade ties, and effective collaboration through international organisations such as the African Union, the United Nations and the Commonwealth.
The President wished Ruto a successful inauguration and tenure in office, adding that he expects fruitful and robust engagements between the two countries on shared priorities such as enhancing peace and security on the continent, democracy, greater economic prosperity and social development.
He also saluted President Uhuru Kenyatta for his statesmanship and exemplary leadership to the people of Kenya in the past nine years and the profound legacies of his administration on infrastructure, education, healthcare reforms and tourism as well as strong influence and support on regional security.