On behalf of the Kenyan people, I welcomeÂ Â 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 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 ,Â Kenyans had real choices.Â Because of you ,Â Kenyans felt free to exercise their sovereign will. Thank you all.
In an open and free democracy ,Â there is a vital role for a vibrant opposition that helps to hold the Government to account.Â 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.Â Ours has been an unusual story.
An unconventional path. We have been praised and criticized in turn â€“ 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.
They will outline the long queues we made, the long hours we waited to vote and the historic voter turnout of these elections.
They will detail the decisions that the Kenyan media made – the
professionalism and responsibility with which they acted.
They will remind us of the fact that we embarked on a feat that few other countries have attempted , holding six elections simultaneously.
They will call our attention to the fact that the youth were meaningfully engaged in the entire electoral period and that the political consciousness of Kenyans was at an all-time high.
They will list and honor the individuals, institutions and service
organizations that played a strong role in this defining chapter of our nationâ€™s history.
They will contrast our accomplishments , with the fact that Kenya ventured into multi-party politics only 20 years ago further strengthening and entrenching our democracy.
When the records remind us of these truths , we will recognise that at the end of the day , it is the indomitable spirit of the Kenyan people ; their commitment to peace ; their desire for progress and their respect for the rule of law – that was the true headline of this election story.
Where systems failed, Kenyans did not. Where decisions were delayed and ambiguity prevailed , Kenyans were patient â€“ seeking and waiting for clarity. Where issues arose to stir up dissent , Kenyans exercised restraint ; peacefully sought redress and submitted themselves again to the constitution and the rule of law â€“ united in the belief that Godâ€™s judgment would guide that of men.
Today ,Â I am humbled and honoured to accept the mantle of leadership that the people of Kenya have bestowed on me. I will lead all Kenyans â€“ those who voted for me â€“ and those who voted for our competitors â€“ towards a national prosperity that is firmly rooted in a rich and abiding peace in which unity can ultimately be realised.
Peace is not simply about the absence of violence. It is defined by the presence of fundamental liberties and the prevalence of economic opportunities.
We will not settle for a perfunctory peace that is disrupted every