, NAIROBI, Kenya, August 27 – What took just over a minute was Kenya’s finest ever hour.
President Mwai Kibaki fulfilled his primary campaign promise to Kenyans on Friday as he appended his signature on the new Kenya Constitution witnessed by hundreds of thousands of Kenyans at Uhuru Park and millions of Kenyans who followed the epic event on television and radio.
With former President Daniel arap Moi seated a row behind him, President Kibaki declared and signed the instruments of promulgation at exactly 10.26 am bringing to an end a 20 year old process as the world watched in jubilation.
“Now therefore in exercise of the powers conferred in me by section 47 (A) of the Constitution of Kenya and section 43 (A) of the Constitution of Kenya Review Act of 2008, I, Mwai Kibaki, President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kenya declare that the Constitution set out in the schedule shall be the new Constitution of Kenya with effect from the 27th, August the year 2010,” said President Kibaki.
An official Republic of Kenya seal was then fixed to the document after which all three stanzas of the National Anthem rung throughout the park followed by a thunderous 21-Gun salute as a colossal Kenya flag was raised on a 108-metre mast.
Chief Justice Evan Gicheru then proceeded to take his oath and in turn swore in the President Mwai Kibaki.
“I Mwai Kibaki in full realisation of the high calling as President of the Republic of Kenya do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Republic of Kenya; that I will obey, preserve, protect and defend this constitution as by law established,” swore President Kibaki.
“I will do justice to all without fear, favour, affection or ill-will and that I will not directly or indirectly reveal such matters as shall come to my knowledge in the discharge of my duties and committed to my secrecy, so help me God,” the premier pledged.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka then took their oaths of office.