Ruto: I can now call Pres. Uhuru after months of no communication

President-elect William Ruto in Njoro, Nakuru County on September 4, 2022 [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

President-elect William Ruto has said he'll call outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta to plan the power transition.

Ruto is scheduled for swearing-in on Tuesday, September 13, which is the first Tuesday seven days after the Supreme Court of Kenya gives it verdict on a disputed presidential election.

The exiting deputy president on Monday, September 5 said there was a communication breakdown between him and President Kenyatta that lasted "several months".

In the recent presidential polls, President Kenyatta supported Ruto's main rival Raila Odinga.

Speaking at his Karen residence in Nairobi on Monday, Ruto said: "I will be calling President Uhuru Kenyatta shortly [after this public address]. We haven't talked for months."

The president-elect said the purpose of the call will to help plan the power transition penciled in for next Tuesday.

"I know he (President Kenyatta) worked hard in his own way during the campaigns, but the people of Kenya made their decision. I take no offence at all that he chose to support someone else."

At the same time, Ruto lauded the Supreme Court of Kenya for upholding his win in the August 9 polls, saying the decision has cemented the credibility of his victory and the conduct of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

"I salute the judges of the Supreme Court, who have performed their duty with utmost fidelity to the Constitution. They listened to all parties, considered all the issues, applied the law and demonstrated their impartiality and patriotism. Their professionalism has elevated the stature of the Judiciary," he said.

The outgoing deputy president said IEBC's conduct in the recent polls has been stamped as fair and credible by the courts.

"The decision vindicates the IEBC's effort to go all out and deliver an election that exceeded public expectations, and fully met the constitutional threshold of a secure, transparent, free, fair and accountable election," he said.

Ruto described IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati as the "hero of our democracy".

The president-elect further said he appreciated the spirited campaigns lodged by his competitors, including his main rival Raila Odinga.

"I extend a hand of brotherhood to all my competitors and to all their supporters. We are not enemies; we are Kenyans. Let us unite to make Kenya a nation everyone shall be proud to call home."

Ruto said he'll respect President Uhuru Kenyatta's contribution to building the nation as the country's fourth Head of State and Raila Odinga's efforts to embolden Kenya's democracy and human rights.

At the same time, he promised to allow public institutions enjoy the latitude of independence without being influenced by the government.

Ruto won the August 9, 2022 presidential election after garnering 7.18 million votes (50.49 per cent) against Raila Odinga's 6.94 million (48.85 per cent) of the votes.

A first-timer in the presidential race, Ruto's stab at the top office has made history as he becomes the first Kenyan to win the presidential race on a first try.

The 55-year-old will be deputised by outgoing Mathira Member of Parliament (MP) Rigathi Gachagua, who was a first-time lawmaker in the 12th Parliament that was in office between 2017 and 2022.

They ran on pro-economic relief pledges, including setting up a Hustlers Fund that would be lending Sh50 billion to small-scale traders every year.