Why Uhuru is silent on Ruto's win – Lawyer Steve Ogolla explains

Steve Ogolla says how Uhuru can break his silence on Ruto's win without politically embarrassing Raila Odinga.

President Uhuru Kenyatta speaking with DP William Ruto at a past event

Many Kenyans have been wondering why President Uhuru Kenyatta is yet to make public comments regarding the declaration of William Ruto as president-elect.

Lawyer Steve Ogolla made a hypothesis on the reason President Kenyatta is yet to congratulate his friend-turned-rival Ruto.

He explained that the head of state’s silence may imply support for his preferred candidate Raila Odinga who has disputed the presidential election results.

Many heads of state and international associates of President Kenyatta have already sent their congratulatory messages to Ruto, recognising him as the president-elect.

The Azimio la Umoja coalition party, in which Uhuru is the chairman announced that it would not recognise Ruto as president-elect.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is silent because he's the chairperson of Azimio and his candidate is contesting the result and reasonably can be understood to mean that he has also rejected the results because this is the party, and have not seen division,” Ogolla said.

He, however, argued that the head of state bears the responsibility of uniting the country and protecting political and economic stability.

If his silence compromises the stability of the nation then he has to rise above his position as Azimio chairperson and speak as the head of state,” the lawyer added.

The lawyer explained that Uhuru could strike a balance between acknowledging that the IEBC had already declared a winner as well as taking note of the dispute expected to be filed at the Supreme Court.

He could create that balance so he doesn’t put the former prime minister in a politically embarrassing position where his statement could be misread that now he thinks the election was well managed while Raila is questioning it.

Also he cannot overprotect Raila Odinga to the extent that he compromises the tranquillity and cohesion in the country,” Ogolla explained said.

Deputy President-elect Rigathi Gachagua has maintained that the Kenya Kwanza alliance does not need any congratulatory message from President Kenyatta.

He said that as of Thursday, August 18, the head of state had not called Ruto or reached out in any way.

Up to now, President Kenyatta hasn't spoken to President-elect Ruto either through phone call or any other means. It is his right because we cannot force him.

If he doesn't want to congratulate the president-elect, it is okay...but plans for William Ruto to take over leadership of the country is going on smoothly since it is in the Constitution,” Gachagua said.

In a meeting with visiting US Senator Chris Coons on Thursday, President Kenyatta promised a smooth transition process.

My greatest desire is that peace will prevail and we may set an example in the continent and the world,” Uhuru said.

The Assumption of Office of the President has also assured Kenyans that the handover of power from Kenyatta to the next head of state would be smooth.

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