In the two transitions of power Kenya has had since independence, the outgoing presidents took their successors for an orientation tour at State House.
The former presidents also expressed their benevolence to the incoming heads of state.
This was evident in 2002 when Kenya’s second president Daniel Moi welcomed his successor Mwai Kibaki to State House after the latter’s election.
Despite having supported a rival candidate, the late president Moi welcomed Kibaki and took him for a tour of State House Nairobi. Moi was also subjected to a humiliating handing-over ceremony at Uhuru Park where the crowd hurled insults at him.
The second president, nonetheless, peacefully handed over and without responding to the critics directed at him.
This was also the case in 2013 when former President Kibaki welcomed the win of President Uhuru and William Ruto who vied under the Jubilee Coalition. Kibaki was quick to congratulate the duo after they were declared winners in the 2013 elections.
After the swearing-in of Uhuru as the fourth president, Kibaki returned to State House for a farewell dinner with the newly elected president.
“I am here to hand over the management of the affairs of our nation to a new generation of useful leaders,” Kibaki stated in 2013.
However, this year’s transition could be exceptional taking into consideration the strained relationship between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his soon-to-be successor William Ruto. Uhuru is yet to congratulate President-elect William Ruto- three weeks after he was declared the winner.
Ruto who spoke in an interview on Wednesday, September 7, stated that Uhuru was yet to congratulate him after his win. The head of state was also hesitant to call Ruto on as is expected to deliberate on matters of transition of power.
“I have won the elections that is what is important. Unfortunately, President Kenyatta has not seen it fit to congratulate me but I think that’s fine,” Ruto stated.
“Maybe he is a bit disillusioned, or maybe he is unhappy that I defeated his candidate. But that is the nature of politics,” he told CNN.
Uhuru, on his part, has been on record saying that he will recognise Raila as his leader. According to Uhuru, Raila was the rightful leader of Kenya.
“I will hand over power smiling because it is constitutional. Aluta continua but I will leave knowing Raila is my leader,” he said.
“You have denied yourself the opportunity of bringing the country together,” the outgoing president stated.
That notwithstanding, Uhuru has affirmed that he is willing to oversee a smooth transition. Speaking after the Supreme Court’s validation of Ruto’s win, the outgoing president promised to uphold his oath to protect the constitution.
“When I was sworn in as your President, I made a pledge to the country – pledge to uphold the rule of law and the decisions made by the judiciary on all matters appertaining to our governance,” he stated.
“And in keeping to the pledge that I made to uphold the rule of law when I took the oath of office, I commit to executing the orders of this court to the letter.”
The swearing-in date has been set for Tuesday, September 13 at the Kasarani Stadium, in accordance with the Constitution.