Kenyatta sworn in Uhuru Kenyatta
 Uhuru Kenyatta

Uhuru Kenyatta

NAIROBI. — Several heads of state or their deputies and heads of delegation joined thousands of Kenyans at the Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi to witness the swearing-in of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto for their second term in office.

Among the leaders present were Presidents Salva Kiir (South Sudan), Edgar Lungu (Zambia), Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Ismail Omar Guelleh (Djibouti), Ian Khama (Botswana), Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo” (Somalia), Hage Geingob (Namibia) and Ali Bongo (Gabon).

Also present was Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, African Union representatives Pierre Buyoya and Rupiah Banda, special envoys from Eritrea and Zambia and former Senegalese prime minister Aminata Touré.

Foreign Affairs ministers from Palestine and India and Algeria’s Speaker of the National Assembly also represented their countries. Nigeria Vice President Yemi Osinbalo represented his country while neighbouring Tanzania sent Vice President Samia Suluhu. Former presidents Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and John Dramani Mahama of Ghana also attended the swearing-in ceremony.

The foreign leaders and government representatives started streaming into the Kasarani Stadium from 8am. There were delegations from 47 countries attending the celebrations. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also arrived in Nairobi to take part in the celebrations.

This is the second time the Israeli leader is visiting Kenya within a span of two years, having been in the country for a state visit in July 2016. Several countries from America, Europe, Middle East and the Far East also sent delegations to represent them at the auspicious occasion. President Kenyatta was sworn in after he won the October 26 repeat election in which he won 98 percent of the votes cast.

One of the major highlights in President Kenyatta’s inaugural speech was when he announced that he was, with effect from yesterday, directing “that any African wishing to visit Kenya will be eligible to receive a visa at the port of entry.

“To underscore Kenya’s commitment, this shall not be done on the basis of reciprocity. For my fellow Africans, the free movement of people on our continent has always been a cornerstone of pan-African brotherhood and fraternity,” said the Kenyan leader. President Kenyatta also thanked the international community for standing with the people of Kenya after the first election results were annulled, and they had to be redone.

“I want to thank Kenya’s friends in the international community for standing with us. 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.

“We have learned that in the fight against international terrorism, free and democratic nations are allies against a common enemy.” — Daily Nation/Herald Reporter.

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