Ruto’s first full speech to Kenyans

UDA candidate William Samoei Ruto is the Kenya president-elect after  IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati declared him the winner.

Shortly after announcing him, Chebukati invited Ruto to make his remarks. Here is his full victory speech

“It is a wonderful evening and I want to thank God that we are here this evening to witness this momentous occasion as the people of Kenya, restate what is in Article 1 of the Constitution; that all sovereign power belongs to the people of Kenya.

I want to thank God for getting us to this point. I want to thank God that today, we have concluded this election.

I know that there were predictions that I would not get to the ballot, there were predictions that I would not get here, but because there is a God in heaven, we are here.

And I want to in a very special way, say and confess that without God, we wouldn’t have been here.

My gratitude also goes to the people of Kenya, the millions who listened to us, the millions who participated in our campaigns peacefully, the millions who turned up to vote for us on August 9 and the millions who have waited patiently until these results have been announced.

Specifically, I want to thank my fellow countrymen and women because we have raised the bar in this election. This election was much about the issues than the ethnic configurations that have always informed our politics.

Gratitude goes to the millions of Kenyans who refused to be boxed into tribal cocoons. I am a very proud Kenyan this evening that the people of Kenya have raised the bar on us who are seeking leadership in our country, not to sell our ethnicity, but to sell our programmes, manifestos, our agenda and our plan.

Let me also say right at the start that here and in this election, there are no losers, The people of Kenya have won because we have raised the political bar. I want to say that the people of Kenya led by the 14 million who stood out to vote are the biggest winners.

The hero of this election is the IEBC, led by Wafula Chebulati. I say this with conviction, that the IEBC amazed all of us.

The results were in the public portal, all the servers were open and everybody, all you needed was a simple calculator and you would have the final results.

I want to congratulate the IEBC for raising the bar and I want to say without fear of any contradiction that Wafula Chebukati is our hero; soft-spoken but firm.

I want to tell you Mr Chairman, we are very proud that without informing anyone of us, you put all the results on a public portal that any Kenyan could access – that became the game changer in this election.

Let me also thank our partners, the religious leaders who were part of this process from the beginning. For the first time, we saw them spend time at this tallying centre and prayed for this process. I am sure their prayers will not be in vain.

I also want to thank our development partners, the diplomatic community and election observers who came in their thousands to be part and parcel of the process right from nearly two weeks ago to its conclusion in this auditorium. To all of them, I tell them the people of Kenya are eternally grateful.

I want to thank my worthy competitor, the honourable Raila Odinga for a campaign in that we all dwelt on issues and tried to sell an agenda to the people of Kenya. I want to promise that I will work with all elected leaders and all leaders in Kenya so that we can fashion a country that leaves nobody behind.

What the people of Kenya have done is assign us responsibilities. There will be those of us who will be in the executive, but there will be those of us who will oversee what we do in the executive. Those responsibilities, in government and in the opposition are important for the people of Kenya.

I want to promise that I will run a transparent, open and democratic government and I will work with the opposition to the extent that they provide oversight over my administration.

Let me also acknowledge my boss, the president of the Republic of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, who has worked with me over the last 10 years in various forms and I want to commit that I will build on the foundation that he and I put together and take this country to the next level.

I want to promise all the people of Kenya, regardless of how they voted that this will be their government. I know many are wondering, especially those who have done many things against us, I want to tell them that they have nothing to fear.

There is no room for vengeance, there is no room for looking back, we are looking into the future. I am aware that our country is at a stage where we need all hands on deck to move it forward.

We do not have the luxury to point fingers or portion blame, we must close ranks and work together for a functioning democratic, prosperous Kenya.

I want to thank the members of my team starting with my wife and family and many other prayer warriors in Kenya and I want to confess that I have been prayed into victory.

It is not our effort, and my team knows, we were working against many odds but I must confess that it is God who brought us this victory. Many people have made huge sacrifices for us to get here. I want to assure them that their sacrifices will not be in vain.

My team and I will work very hard to make sure that we do not let Kenyans down.

I am very confident that this country will come together and we can move together as one united and prosperous country. I want to ask our religious leaders from across Kenya to pray for us and the unity of our country.

Thank you very much for being here this evening to witness this very historic, democratic occasion that moves this country to the next level.

Let me thank my very able deputy, Rigathi Gachagua for the sacrifice and the commitment he has demonstrated and the hard work he has put in.

Together with Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetangula, Justin Muturi, Alfred Mutua, Amason Kingi and the members of Parliament who were elected with us in Jubilee and have paid the price for us to be here. Ladies and gentlemen, let me say, I owe you. you are great people.

To all the people of Kenya, I assure you that I will work hard to ensure that this nation moves to the next level, is united and is prosperous.

Ahsanteni sana.

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