, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 8 – Uhuru Kenyatta has formally taken over the President’s office at Harambee House where he met East African leaders who are in the country to attend his inauguration on Tuesday.
The Head of the Civil Service Francis Kimemia said that Deputy President-elect William Ruto would also take over the office used by the Prime Minister after the inauguration at Kasarani on Tuesday.
Addressing journalists at the Moi Sports Centre in Kasarani, Kimemia stated that 13 Heads of State invited for the swearing-in ceremony had confirmed attendance, and some have already arrived in Nairobi.
There will be 5,000 guests attending the inauguration by invitation while about 50,000 seats at the stadium will be set aside for the general public.
Kimemia also revealed that the government was planning a farewell party for the outgoing Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka.
In the meantime, the Kenyan military conducted final rehearsals in full gear ahead of the inauguration ceremony.
Chief of Defence Forces Julius Karangi oversaw the rehearsal where he went through the motions with the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Gladys Shollei.
Among the Heads of State invited is Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is expected in the country to participate in the ceremony, according to Government Spokesman Muthui Kariuki.
“There was no way we could leave out Bashir in this ceremony. We had to invite him. He is one of the African leaders and it is important that he has to be there so that there can be regional balance. As to when he will arrive, we cannot say. He is the one to decide,”
Bashir’s invitation to Kenya comes despite an arrest warrant issued for him by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes committed in Darfur.
As a state party to the ICC Rome statute, Kenya has a legal obligation to arrest the Sudanese leader should he set foot in the country.
In August 2010, Bashir made a surprise appearance at the promulgation of Kenya’s new constitution drawing wide domestic and international criticism.
This prompted the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) to move the issue of Kenya’s non-compliance to the High Court.
Following the ruling on the case, the government was ordered to arrest Bashir should he visit again and issued a provisional warrant of arrest for the Sudanese President.
Bashir reacted to the ruling by expelling the Kenyan envoy to Sudan and gave Nairobi two weeks to reverse the decision before imposing sanctions.