Chaos as Ruto declared 5th Kenyan President

Kenyan President Elect William Ruto from Kenya Kwanza (Kenya First) political party coalition delivers a speeach at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Bomas of Kenya Tallying Centre in Nairobi on August 15, 2022. PHOTO/AFP

What you need to know:

  • Describing the IEBC tally centre as a “crime scene,” top Azimio leaders exited the auditorium by 5pm (EAT) –before results were announced- in the clearest signal of a looming appeal to the Supreme Court.
  • More than 14million Kenyans balloted in the decisive poll which now halts the ascendency of the Kenyatta-Odinga families since 1964 in the East African powerhouse. 
  • Odinga's political future is now uncertain after his 5th bid for presidency ended in an upset. 

Two election officers were injured and some arrested when chaos erupted Monday evening- putting a glaring stain on Kenya’s poll before Deputy President William Ruto was August 15 declared winner of a tight race to succeed two-term President Uhuru Kenyatta. 

Kenya Police intervene after chaos erupted at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials over final election results in Nairobi on August 15, 2022. PHOTO/AFP

Four commissioners of Kenya’s electoral body earlier held a press conference disowning the results announced by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairperson Wafula Chebukati.

"We are not at Bomas because we cannot take ownership of the results," IEBC vice chairperson Juliana Cherera said.

The 55-year-old Kenya Kwanza frontrunner defeated the Uhuru-backed Raila Odinga, 77, - with Agano and Roots Party candidates David Mwaure and George Wajackoyah respectively conceding defeat on Sunday to endorse Ruto.

About 50.49 per cent (7.18 million) of at least 14million Kenyans voted for Ruto in the decisive poll which now halts the ascendency of the Kenyatta-Odinga families since 1964 in the East African powerhouse.  The IEBC data shows about 6.94 million (48.5 per cent) polled for Odinga. 

Kenyan President Elect William Ruto (C), standing next to his running mate Rigathi Gachaua (R), receives a certificate from Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati (L), at the IEBC Bomas of Kenya Tallying Centre in Nairobi on August 15, 2022. PHOTO/AFP

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) mid-morning Monday concluded verification of votes from 292 constituencies, ending a week-long anxious wait for results of the August 9 election.

All losing candidates, save for Azimio’s Odinga, sat amongst thousands in the spiritually-fired Bomas auditorium as IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati announced final results amid nationwide heightened security and a deserted capital, Nairobi.

Describing the IEBC tally centre as a “crime scene,” top Azimio leaders exited the auditorium by 5pm (EAT) –before results were announced- in the clearest signal of a looming appeal to the Supreme Court.

“We want to see and verify the results. We have intelligence reports that their system was penetrated and hacked. Some IEBC officials actually committed electoral offences and ought to have been arrested,” Odinga’s chief agent Saitabao Ole Kanchory said on Monday.  

Several international observers say the poll mandating Kenya’s 5th head of state was largely peaceful in a country previously overrun by deadly post-election tribal clashes.

 “We have learnt a lot from the elections in Kenya and will share the good example of real democracy, institutional credibility and upholding the rule of law to build the Africa we want,” they said at State House in Nairobi on Saturday.

Meantime, a 162-159 edge poised Azimio to control Kenya’s Parliament that comprises 349 elects although Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza Alliance led 24-23 in the Senate, according to official tallies.

Who is William Ruto 

Birth: December 21, 1966, in Sugoi, Uasin Gishu County 
Occupation: Politician, Botanist
Family: Married Rachel in 1991

Education background: Early schooling at Kamagut Primary, then joined Wareng Secondary School, followed by Kapsabet Boys High School for his A-Levels. He joined the University of Nairobi where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Botany and Zoology in 1990. He returned to same university years later and graduated with a Master of Science degree in 2011 and PhD in 2018.   

Service: His rise started when he was a co-founder and key member of the infamous Youth for Kanu 1992 (YK92), a lobby group that campaigned for late President Daniel Moi in the 1992 General Elections. Earlier, he had met Mr Moi, his political mentor, through his involvement in church activities. 

He was first elected to Parliament in 1997 as MP for Eldoret North. Dr Ruto served as an assistant minister in the Office of the President from 1998 to 2002 when he was elevated to Cabinet 
as Minister for Home Affairs following the sacking of George Saitoti by Mr Moi after disagreements over the 2002 succession. Dr Ruto has also served as Minister for Agriculture and Higher Education. He opposed the referendum on the new Constitution in 2005 and 2010.  

In 2011, Dr Ruto was named among the six individuals who planned and sponsored the 2007/08 post-election violence in which 1,200 people were killed and many others displaced over a disputed following a disputed presidential election. Dr Ruto was charged alongside journalist Joshua Arap Sang with crimes against humanity (murder, deportation or forcible transfer of population and persecution) during violence that followed the 2007 elections. The trial of Dr Ruto and Mr Sang opened on September 10, 2013. Dr Ruto’s case at the ICC also collapsed in 2016. At the time, the court ruled there was insufficient evidence after crucial witnesses withdrew. 

Dr Ruto has served as Kenya’s deputy president since 2013 when he was elected as President Uhuru Kenyatta’s running mate. In October 2014, he served as acting President when Mr Kenyatta briefly relinquished power to attend to his criminal case at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands. Mr Kenyatta’s charges were later dropped.

Kenyan presidents

2022: President Elect- William Ruto

2013-2022: Uhuru Kenyatta (Outgoing)

2002-2013: Mwai Kibaki

1978-2002: Daniel Toroitich arap Moi

1964-1978: Jomo Kenyatta

REATED STORIES: Inside Ruto business empire

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