, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 9 – The announcement came four hours later but the country waited patiently as the chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEBC) of Kenya finally took to the podium to declare Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta the fourth president of the Republic of Kenya.
And with that came frenzy as Jubilee enthusiasts in the auditorium celebrated the man who clinched 6,173,433 votes against his main rival Raila Odinga’s 5,340,546 votes.
Kenyatta was however not at the Bomas of Kenya when the announcement was made.
Shortly after, word came round that the President-elect, in the company of soon-to-be First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, was on his way.
Cameras were angled, the audience stood and all eyes were fixed on the auditorium’s entrance with bated breath.
A few moments later, the 51 year-old and his running mate William Ruto arrived in a fleet of four wheel drive vehicles and made their way into the auditorium.
“May I take this opportunity to thank your excellency for the victory you deserve in the concluded March 4, 2013 General Election. May I also take this opportunity to bestow upon you the emblems that say you emerged victorious,” IEBC chief executive officer James Oswago said.
“The IEBC certifies that the candidate who has been duly elected president of Kenya, in the election held on March 4 2013, is Uhuru Kenyatta,” declared IEBC Chairman Issack Hassan.
After the final vote tally, Kenyatta stood firm with 50.07 percent of the total votes cast and the support of at least 32 constituencies.
As he was accepting his certificate, presidential security outside was busy assigning him a new fleet of official limousines complete with police escorts.
The IEBC staff, sign language interpreters, security personnel, politicians, journalists and observers had been camping at the historic Bomas of Kenya for the past five days.
They would spend cold nights and hot days at the designated national tallying centre as they looked forward to the final announcement.
And with the slow tallying process, came theories, rumours and speculation of all sorts including one that claimed Oswago had been kidnapped. But the IEBC dismissed them all.
The security systems installed were refined. Men and women would be thoroughly frisked and their bags screened and counter screened for any items that would pose a security threat.
Sometimes emotions would run raw and tempers would flare up as heightened anxiety and exhaustion took toll on all the stakeholders.