At least 23 Heads of State or their deputies joined thousands of Kenyans who gathered at the Kasarani Sports Complex, Nairobi, to witness the swearing in of President Uhuru Kenyatta for his second term in office.
Kenyans in celebratory mood thronged to the venue of the colourful ceremony from as early as 4.00 am in order to sit at vantage points to witness the historic event.
The foreign Heads of State and representatives of governments started streaming into the Kasarani Stadium from 8.00 a.m.
The Heads of State attending the event included South Sudan President Salva Kiir – who jetted into the country on Sunday – being the first to arrive among foreign Heads of State attending the inauguration ceremony. He was followed by Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn whose plane touched down at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport yesterday afternoon.
The Prime Minister of Togo, Mamadi Youla, arrived in the country on Sunday
Other leaders who arrived last evening included Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo” Mohamed, Edgar Lungu of Zambia, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda, Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Namibia’s President Hage Geingob.
Presidents Ali Bongo (Gabon), Ian Khama (Botswana), Ismail Omar Guelleh (Djibouti) and Vice President Yemi Osinbalo of Nigeria arrived in the country this morning for President Kenyatta’s inauguration. Neighbouring Tanzania has sent Vice President Samia Suluhu who is represent President John Pombe Magufuli at the ceremony.
Former South African President Thabo Mbeki and his Ghanaian counterpart John Dramani Mahama are also among the foreign dignitaries attending the swearing-in ceremony.
Several countries from America, Europe, Middle East and Far East have sent powerful delegations to represent them at the auspicious occasion.
President Kenyatta is being sworn in after he emerged victorious in the October 26 election in which he won 98 per cent of the votes cast.
The President’s October victory was preceded by another resounding victory in the General Elections held on August 8 but which was overturned by the Supreme Court.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to jet into the country to take part in the celebrations.
This is the second time the Israel leader is visiting Kenya within a span of two year, having been in the country for a state visit in July last year.