NAIROBI; KENYA: President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta has defended his decision to have his wife hold the Bible for him during next week’s swearing-in ceremony.
It was expected that Uhuru would hold the Bible himself, or if not so, that an official of the Supreme Court would hold it for him as it has been the case with the swearing-in of his predecessors. Some people had criticised him on social media for the decision, forcing him to post a statement on his official Facebook page on Thursday evening explaining his decision.
“I have asked my friend and wife Margaret to hold the Bible together with me as I take the oath of office on Tuesday; a tradition exercised in most countries of the world. I promised to uphold family values and by having her stand alongside me, we will not only be vowing individually as recognised by the Constitution, but also collectively as recognised by our marriage vows also enshrined in the law,” read the statement.
He continued: “By holding the Bible, not for me but with me, as I take my Oath of Office, she will be committing herself to ensure she reminds me of my promise to the Kenyan people and also assuring Kenyans that family obligations will not interfere with my execution of duties as President.”
Wavinya Mutisya wrote this criticising Uhuru’s decision: “Who is being sworn in here, is it Uhuru or his wife? She can hold the Mic for him (sic), but not the Bible.”
Uhuru will be sworn in on Tuesday as Kenya’s fourth president at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani. Meanwhile, Tuesday 9, when the President-elect and his designated deputy William Ruto will be sworn in has been declared a public holiday.
Head of Public Service Francis Kimemia, who is the chairman of the Committee to the Assumption to the Office of President, said the move will give Kenyans time to also observe the handover.