President congratulates Kenyan President-elect Ruto
Kudakwashe Mugari-Deputy News Editor
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has congratulated Kenyan President-elect William Ruto, who beat his main rival Mr Raila Odinga in a hotly contested poll that was held in the eastern African country last week.
This followed the declaration of Mr Ruto as the fifth Kenyan President by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission of Kenya (IEBC).
Mr Ruto garnered 7 176 141 votes against Mr Odinga, who got 6 942 930,
“Congratulations to @WilliamsRuto on his election as the next President of Kenya,” President Mnangagwa said in a tweet.
“I have no doubt he will serve his country, his people, and our continent with distinction,” he added.
Hailing the electoral commission as “heroes”, Mr Ruto said, “There is no looking back. We are looking to the future. We need all hands on deck to move forward.”
The 55-year-old had made Kenya’s class divisions the centrepiece of his campaign to become the country’s fifth President, promising to reward low-income “hustlers” and pouring scorn on Kenya’s political dynasties
Mr Ruto, who heads the Kenya Kwanza (Kenya First) Alliance, had appeared to be leading long-time opposition leader Mr Odinga as Kenyans awaited the final results of the election held nearly a week ago.
The other presidential candidate, Nr David Mwaure of Agano Party garnered 31 987 votes representing 0.23 percent while Mr George Wajackoyah of the Roots Party got 61 969 votes (0.44 percent).
It was the fifth time that Mr Odinga was running for the presidency, having first contested in 1997, and again in 2007, 2013 and 2017.
Kenya has a total of 22 million registered voters, of which only 14 million voted in the 2022 general election.
The Kenyan constitution requires the winner of the presidential election to garner at least 50 percent plus one of the total votes cast, besides getting at least 25 percent of the votes in half of the 47 counties.