Kiraitu Reveals Secrets of Kibaki Night Swearing-In

Former President Mwai Kibaki During Night Swearing-In at Statehouse In 2007
Former President Mwai Kibaki During Night Swearing-In at Statehouse In 2007

Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi has revealed the secrets that preceded the night swearing-in of former President Mwai Kibaki on December 30, 2007.

Kiraitu who served as the Minister for Constitutional affairs was at State House with Kibaki at that tense hour. He recalled those moments in a new book by journalist Njeri Rugene, Beyond Politics, that is currently being serialised by the Nation. 

The 2007 polls pitted Kibaki against Orange Democratic Movement(ODM) leader Raila Odinga.

Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi in his office.
Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi in his office.

According to Kiraitu, Kibaki maintained his calm demeanour even as results kept trickling in from KICC.

“I was with Kibaki at State House as the results were being tallied by the Electoral Commission of Kenya at KICC. We were following the proceedings on TV while Kibaki was in his room upstairs.  He occasionally came downstairs to find out how the exercise was going on. As usual, looked very calm and composed. It was as if nothing major was happening,” Kiraitu revealed. 

The governor in the book has revealed that Kibaki was willing to admit defeat if the electoral commission announced Raila as the winner of the elections.

But by 5 pm, tension started rising in the statehouse after supporters of Raila stormed KICC demanding Raila to be declared the winner.

“KICC was becoming chaotic. The opposition crowd at KICC was threatening to burn the country with mass action, Sierra Leone-style unless Raila Odinga was declared the winner,” the book quotes Murungi.

It was at that moment that the inner circle of Kibaki started blaming the then Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) chairman Samuel Kivuitu for delaying to release of the results of Tharaka-Nithi which was considered one of their strongholds.

At Exactly 5:30 pm, Kivuitu declared Kibaki the winner with a 300,000 vote margin against Raila.

“Had the Electoral Commission of Kenya not announced the winner by 6 pm, the country would have had no president or commander-in-chief, and it would be engulfed in flames,” Kiraitu claimed.

The then-Attorney General Amos Wako gave President Kibaki’s team a go-ahead to prepare the swearing-in ceremony by 6 pm just thirty minutes after the results were released.

“Contrary to the propaganda that Kibaki was sworn in at night, he was sworn in before 6 pm. The constitution did not prescribe the place where the swearing-in should take place,” he retorted.

Kiraitu has further blamed ODM and Kivuitu for the violence that rocked the country afterwards. He has accused ODM of spreading propaganda that the elections were stolen.

While on the other hand, accusing Kivuitu of delaying releasing the results.

He insists that Kibaki under the Party of National Unity (PNU) won the elections fair and square.

Kibaki RAO
Retired President Mwai Kibaki (right) and Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga at a past function in 2014.
  • . . .