Barack Obama invited for Uhuru's swearing-in ceremony

Former US President Barack Obama photo:courtesy

Former US President Barack Obama may be one of the dignitaries to be invited to grace the swearing-in ceremony of President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta, Standard on Sunday can report.

The swearing-in committee, headed by Chief of Staff Joseph Kinyua, has revealed that they are already compiling the list of foreign dignitaries the Government intends to invite if the election and declaration of the President-elect is not successfully challenged at the Supreme Court.

Leaders likely to be invited are African Heads of State, among them, Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), John Pombe Magufuli (Tanzania), Jacob Zuma (South Africa), Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari who has been out of Nigeria on a medical vacation for 97 days, and European leaders German Chancellor Angela Merkel and United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May.

Also on the list are Liberian leader Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, businessman Aliko Dangote, His Highness the Aga Khan, former Italian PM Matteo Renzi and China’s President Xi Jinping.

“We are basically preparing for the swearing-in ceremony of the President even as we go through the constitutional timelines and processes. That list basically contains the President’s friends, African and other world leaders we intend to invite for the fete. It is just an ordinary preparation process,” one of the committee members who spoke to us said.

The electoral commission Chairman Wafula Chebukati on Friday declared incumbent President Uhuru and his deputy William Ruto winners of this year’s presidential contest.

A determination on the exact swearing-in ceremony can only be made after 14 days following the date of the declaration of results to provide room for any party willing to petition the results to do so.

The law requires the swearing-in of the President-elect be conducted in a public ceremony held in the capital city.

Article 12 of the Assumption of the Office of President Act provides that: “The Committee shall publish, by notice in the gazette, the date and place for the conduct of the swearing-in ceremony. The day on which the President-elect is sworn in shall be a public holiday. 

The President-elect shall, during the swearing in ceremony, take and subscribe the oath or affirmation of allegiance for the execution of the functions of office.”

The Act further states: “The oath or affirmation under sub-section (1) shall be administered by the Chief Registrar before the Chief Justice (CJ), or, in the absence of the CJ, the Deputy Chief Justice, not earlier than 10.00 am and not later than 2.00 pm. The deputy CJ shall undertake the task only in circumstances where the Chief Justice is incapacitated.”

Upon taking or subscribing to the oath, the President shall then sign a certificate of inauguration in the presence of the Chief Justice or his deputy.