Nairobi — Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni telephoned President-Elect William Ruto for the second time since his declaration as the winner of the August 9 presidential election to relay a congratulatory message following the Supreme Court verdict upholding Ruto’s election.
Museveni’s call on Monday just hours after a unanimous verdict by the seven-judge bench of the Supreme Court came even as State House remained silent on Ruto’s victory with President Uhuru Kenyatta avoiding to make a direct mention of the President-Elect in a recorded speech.
While commenting on the Supreme Court’s verdict, President Kenyatta, the patron of the Azimio Coalition Party which fielded Raila Odinga, 77, as its presidential candidate, only said he will uphold the rule of law and ensure compliance to the verdict.
“When I was sworn in as your President I made a pledge to the country: a pledge to uphold the rule of law and the decisions made by the Judiciary on all matter pertaining to our governance,” President Kenyatta remarked.
“Today the Supreme Court made a ruling on the presidential dispute upholding the results announced by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on August 15. And in keeping to the pledge that I made to uphold the rule of law when I took the oath of office, I commit to executing the orders of this court to the latter,” he said.
The 7-minute speech shared by State House hours after Ruto’s address to the nation came even as reports emerged that Ruto’s call to President Kenyatta went answered.
Ruto had indicated he would be making a phone call to the President with whom he had not talked to for months to discuss transition matters.
“I will shortly be putting a call to my friend President Uhuru Kenyatta. I haven’t talked to him in months but shortly I will be doing a call to him so that we can have a conversation on the transition,” Ruto stated sarcastically in an apparent jibe.
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I rang H.E @WilliamsRuto to congratulate him on the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision to uphold his election as the 5th President of Kenya. I look forward to working with him to strengthen our Strategic Partnership in advancing the EAC agenda. God bless the people of Kenya. pic.twitter.com/8HrG5eRiWl– Yoweri K Museveni (@KagutaMuseveni) September 5, 2022
Ruto went on to state that he respects President Kenyatta’s decision to back a candidate of his choice but added Kenyans had made a democratic choice which must be respected.
“I know he has worked hard but the people of Kenya have made a decision and we have absolutely no issue with the democratic rights of Kenyans,” the President-Elect said.
“I take no offence that he decided to support somebody else, we will remain friends as we have been in the context of where we are,” he added.