, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 3 – President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta has asked that his wife of 23 years and mother to his three children, Margaret Kenyatta, hold the Bible as he places his hand on it at his swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday.
The Chief of the Defence Forces General Julius Karangi made the revelation on Wednesday afternoon as he oversaw a dress rehearsal for the handover of power to Kenyatta.
“I would like the Judiciary to ensure that the taking of the oaths runs smoothly on Tuesday and to be aware that the president-elect has asked that his wife hold the Bible as he places his hand on it as he takes his oath.”
“He may have phrased it as a request but for us it is an order and so we have to ensure that there is no confusion,” said the General.
General Karangi’s relay of the order followed a meeting of the Assumption of the Office of President Committee at the Moi International Sports Complex, the venue of the inauguration.
At a briefing following the meeting, the Committee’s Chairperson and Secretary to the Cabinet, Francis Kimemia, told the press that the preparations for the ceremony are complete except for minimal alterations that will be complete by Friday.
“The dais is too high and will block the view of the invited dignitaries behind it. It will be lowered by about a meter by Friday because there is no reason for them to come all the way to Kenya and not see what is going on. Nothing will be left to chance.”
The Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo, who was also present at the briefing, also assured the public that security preparations have already been made.
“We would like members of the public to feel secure, whether they are watching from their homes, their places of work or here at the stadium.”
“The invited Heads of State need not worry either because we will carry out proper screening as we always do.”
According to Kimemia’s committee, the program for the historic ceremony is as follows;
10.00am: All guests and members of the public are seated at the Kasarani Sports Complex
10.30am: Service Commanders (heads of Kenya Army, Kenya Navy and Kenya Airforce) arrive
10.45am: Invited Heads of State and governments arrive
11.00am: Chief of Defence Forces, Gen Karangi, arrives
11.05am: Chief Justice Willy Mutunga and Chief Registrar Gladys Shollei as well as Supreme Court judges arrive
11.30am: Guard of Honour marches to position
11.35am: Deputy President-elect William Ruto arrives
11.40am: President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta arrives
At around this time, the State motorcade will depart State House Nairobi for Kasarani carrying president Mwai Kibaki
11.45am: President Kibaki arrives at Kasarani, is received by General Karangi and escorded to the ceremonial Land-Rover to enter the stadium. After the National Anthem, Kibaki will inspect the Guard of Honour.
12.10pm: Gladys Shollei, the Chief Registar of the Judiciary is the one to administer the oaths to Kenyatta and Ruto. She takes to the podium and invites CJ Mutunga who will serve as a witness. The Chief Justice will introduce Kenyatta and Ruto to the public and ask Kenyatta to take his position.
Kenyatta will take two oaths; – one pledging allegiance to the Constitution and the second is the solemn affirmation of due execution of office of president.
President Kibaki will then hand over the Instruments of Power and Authority to Kenyatta, which will be followed by fanfare and the National Anthem during which Kibaki’s presidential Standard will be lowered while Kenyatta’s will be hoisted simultaneously.
A 21-gun salute will follow, and Kibaki will be given his Standard by the Chief of Defence Forces.
Ruto will then take his two oaths, after which the Guard of Honour will march off the stadium to be followed by a session of entertainment.
“Once he is sworn in, Deputy President William Ruto will invite Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni to make a speech on behalf of invited dignitaries and then invite outgoing President Mwai Kibaki to make his valedictory speech,” Kimemia said.
Ruto will then deliver his speech as Deputy President and then invite Kenyatta to make his inaugural address to the nation.
Once the festivities which are set to begin at 10am and end at 2pm are over, Kibaki will lead the way out and receive Kenyatta at State House where a lunch with invited Heads of State will take place before leaving the house on the hill and all it entails to him.