William Ruto

17 presidents to attend Ruto’s inauguration today

SEVENTEEN presidents, eight prime ministers and deputy presidents and seven foreign ministers had by yesterday confirmed they will attend the inauguration of President-elect William Ruto, Others include nine special envoys, seven international organisations and one former president.

According to a list seen by the Star, all presidents from the East African Community are expected to grace the swearing-in ceremony at Kasarani Stadium today. They are Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni, Samia Suluhu Hassan (Tanzania), Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Évariste Ndayishimiye (Burundi), Felix Tshisekedi (DRC Congo), Hassan Sheikh Mohamud (Somalia) and Salva Kiir Mayardit of South Sudan. Others include Dennis Nguesso (Congo), Ismail Guelleh (Djibouti), Filipe Nyusi (Mozambique), Brahim Ghail (Sahrawi Republic), Emmerson Mnangagwa (Zimbabwe), Azali Assousmani (Comoros) and Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi.

Abiy Ahmed (Ethiopia), Umaro Embalo (Guinea Bissau) and Waveli Ramkalawan (Seychelles) will also attend. Top representatives of the United Nations, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, Commonwealth, Intergovernmental Authority on Development, African Union and European Union (EU) are also expected to attend.

Cuban deputy prime minister Ines Maria Chapman Waugh, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue (Equatorial Guinea vice president), Mahamadu Bawumia (Ghana vice president), David Mabuza ( South Africa vice president), Sorena Sattari (Iran vice president), Yemi Osinbajo (Nigeria vice president), Malik Agar (Sudan’s transitional council) and Maja Gojkovic (Serbia deputy prime minister ) will attend. The speaker of Algeria Ibrahim Boughali, Togo’s Yawa Tsegan, former German president Christian Wuf, UK’s minister for Commonwealth Vicky Ford and India’s minister for external affairs Vellamvelli Muraleedharan will also be present. President Joe R. Biden, Saturday announced the presidential delegation that will attend President-elect William Ruto’s swearing-in. The team will be led by US Trade Representative Katherine Tai.

The other members are the United States Kenya Ambassador Meg Whitman, Colin Allred the United States Representative Texas, the Honourable Mary Catherine Phee, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs, U.S. Department of State and Monde Muyangwa, Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Africa, U.S. Agency for International Development.

Japan will be represented by a special envoy of Prime Minister Makihara Hideki, South Korea will have Choung Byoung Gug who is the chairman of the central committee of the People Power Party and China will have Liu Yuxi, a special representative of the Chinese Government on African Affairs. Plans for the event are complete with at least 20 Heads of State and government expected to attend the event. Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho who is a member of the Assumption of Office of the President Committee, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is already making protocol arrangements to handle the guests.

Kibicho said 2 500 VIPs are also expected to grace the occasion, as he expressed satisfaction at the strides made to steer the ceremony. The function’s guard of honour is expected to be mounted by the 21st battalion of the Kenya Rifles. Kibicho urged Kenyans planning to attend should be at the Kasarani stadium by 7am.

The gates for the 60 000-capacity stadium will be open to the public from 4am. The organisers said they are expecting supporters from various parts of the country The VIP podium set aside for guests and visiting Heads of State numbering 20 from across Africa is already set. Kibicho said that carpooling arrangements have been made with Kenyan VIPs to minimise traffic and a possible parking crisis. “A lot of our VIPs have been gracious enough to agree that we do common pooling, and therefore we shall be announcing designated areas where these VIPs will be picked,” he said. Kibicho said uniformed and non-uniformed officers will take part in ensuring Tuesday starts and ends without any incident.

“We will have 10 000 police officers around here ensuring that there is order and that everyone is safe,” he said. Merchandisers and food vendors will also be allowed to do business in designated areas of the stadium. It is not clear if President Uhuru Kenyatta will attend the event. On Saturday Chief of Defence Forces, General Robert Kibochi rehearsed how the instruments of power will be handed over to the incoming president. — www.the-star.co.ke

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