The son of Kenya's first president, Uhuru Kenyatta, continued his father's legacy when he was sworn in as Kenya's new president yesterday. At the age of 52, he became the youngest Commander-in-Chief of the country. In his inauguration speech, president Kenyatta encouraged Kenyans to see a new future for their country. He swore the oath of office using the same bible that his father, Jomo Kenyatta, used when he took the oath as Kenya's first post-colonial leader.
Below is the Inauguration Speech:
SPEECH BY H.E. HON. UHURU KENYATTA, C.G.H., PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE DEFENCE FORCES OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA DURING HIS INAUGURATION AND SWEARING-IN CEREMONY ON TUESDAY, 9TH APRIL 2013 AT THE MOI INTERNATIONAL SPORTS COMPLEX, NAIROBI.
Your Excellency Hon.Mwai Kibaki, C.G.H., M.P.;
Your Excellency Daniel arap Moi;
Your Excellencies, Visiting Heads of State & Government;
Chief Justice Willy Mutunga;
All our Invited Guests;
Let me begin by thanking all Heads of State present and the representatives of Heads of State for choosing to be here as a symbol of your continued support and goodwill towards Kenyans.
I particularly note, with gratitude, the large presence of our brothers and sisters from across the continent. This is a clear indication of your commitment to the Pan-African agenda. You have bestowed a great honor on me and our country by being here. On behalf of the Kenyan people I welcome all of you to Kenya. Karibuni Sana!
Let me also acknowledge with gratitude and respect the distinguished service of my predecessors. President Mwai Kibaki, a true statesman and a great leader who over the past 10 years has laid a firm foundation for the future prosperity of our country. Asante sana Mzee. Shukrani nyingi sana.
I pay tribute also to former President Moi who is with us today and thank him for his years of leadership and dedication to our nation. Asante Mzee!
With humility and respect, I acknowledge and pay tribute to the memory of my father, the late founding father of our nation, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. May he and his fellow architects of liberation in Kenya and Africa as a whole rest in peace with the knowledge that this generation is committed to fulfilling their dreams of for our nation and our continent.
I would like to thank all my worthy opponents in the recently completed presidential election. Every one of you helped define and make stronger our democracy. Because of you, Kenyans had real choices. Because of you, Kenyans felt free to exercise their sovereign will. Thank you all.
In an open and free democracy, there is a vital role for a vibrant opposition that helps to hold the Government to account. Kenya is such a democracy, and as President I will respect that role just as I will champion the right of every Kenyan to speak their mind free of fear of reprisal or condemnation.
Our nation has now successfully navigated the most complex general election in our history. Our journey began three years ago, with the promulgation of a new constitution, and ended eleven days ago, with a landmark Supreme Court decision. Ours has been an unusual story. An unconventional path. We have been praised and criticized in turn – depending on who was telling our story. Yet while some watched the unfolding national events with skepticism, resigned to what they believed was the inevitability of chaos, others, the vast majority, looked upon our nation with a tempered hope; cheering us on not only because they believed in us but because they knew that if Kenya succeeded they too would succeed. For all that has been said of our nation, the records of history will attest to a number of undeniable facts.
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