Residents of Nyeri have welcomed Monday’s ruling by the Supreme Court that upheld the win of President-elect Dr William Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua terming the verdict a ray of hope for millions of Kenyans who were barely making it by.
The seven-judge bench led by Chief Justice Martha Koome unanimously dismissed all the nine petitions that had been filed challenging the declaration of Dr Ruto as winner of the August 9 presidential poll.
The chairman of IEBC Mr. Wafula Chebukati announced Dr Ruto as the winner of the 2022 presidential poll on August 15 after he garnered 7.1 million against his closest rival Raila Odinga of the Azimio la Umoja who got 6.9 million of the total votes cast.
The controversy surrounding the declaration of the hotly contested election moved to the Supreme Court with Raila and eight other petitioners claiming there was massive rigging and tinkering of the presidential votes rendering the entire process a nullity.
Among some of the prayers contained in the petition was for the court to order Chebukati’s final declaration of Dr Ruto as president elect as a violation of the Constitution and applicable electoral laws.
But while speaking to the press, several of the residents say they are happy with the landmark ruling and hoped the new leaders would promptly settle down to work in order to address the myriads of challenges affecting Kenyans.
They in particular singled out the runway cost of food that has posed a burden to many low-income families with many of them going to bed hungry.
“I am elated by the Supreme Court’s decision that upheld Dr William Ruto’s victory following the dispute over the presidential vote. My prayer to the incoming administration under the new president is to immediately tackle the high cost of living to enable Kenyans to put food on their tables. This is in line with their manifesto that promised to lower the cost of food within the first 100 days in office,” said Mercy Wairimu, a vegetable vendor.
Stephen Maina, a business man at Skuta area, about three kilometers from Nyeri town along the Nyeri-Karatina road says he believed the incoming government would tackle the ills affecting the country owing to Dr Ruto’s promise to preside over a God fearing regime.
Maina noted that throughout Dr Ruto’s campaign, he did show a deep sense of piety which played a pivotal role in his surprise ascent to the most powerful seat in the country’s leadership.
“One of the things that I did admire from the president-elect was his deeply religious commitment despite his political status in the country. I am therefore delighted that he has weathered the last hurdle at the Supreme Court and is now poised to take over the leadership of this country as the next head of State. Notwithstanding everything else, his deep reverence in God has earned him the ultimate prize,” he pointed out.
Maina has also lauded the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya alliance presidential candidate Raila Odinga for welcoming the Supreme Court ruling.
“I salute Raila Odinga and his supporters in the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya alliance for demonstrating patriotism by maintaining peace throughout the entire court proceedings. Going forward, I do hope our country will continue to maintain peace for the sake of her development,” he added.
On his part, Misheck Muchemi, a matatu driver, says he has confidence that Dr Ruto’s government will deliver on their pledges as promised to the electorate during the campaigns.
Muchemi has also expressed confidence in the incoming administration to tackle the economic challenges facing Kenyans through coming up with policies that will boost the growth of the economy.
“This election was unlike many others we have undertaken in the past where violence becomes the order of the day immediately after the winner has been announced. I am happy that this time round, the county has witnessed an unusually peaceful election where people decided to wait for the results as they went about their daily activities. This demonstrates political maturity among our people which I hope will continue beyond this election,” he prays.
Genesis Ngunjiri, who is the Nyeri bodaboda Association chair, has asked Dr Ruto and his incoming administration to look into the plight facing the youth in the country, many of whom remained unemployed.
He cited the Kenya Kwanza manifesto under which Dr Ruto pegged his campaign on as alone which promised to put funds for young people to enable them start their own businesses and be in a position to fend for themselves especially in the wake of soaring unemployment levels in the country.
Ngunjiri has also pleaded with Raila to be magnanimous enough by conceding defeat and taking his role as the opposition chief in order to keep the government of the day in check.
“I am confident Dr Ruto’s government will address the economic challenges affecting the country through his bottom-up economic model. Similarly, as young people, we look forward to seeing him avail funds through the Hustler Fund to enable youth to have some startup capital for their businesses. This way, many of the still unemployed young people will get an opportunity where they can eke a living without having to look for nonexistent jobs,” he stated.
With the Supreme Court having cleared the final hurdle for the swearing in of William Ruto and his deputy Rigathi, the country is poised to usher a new president next week on Tuesday in accordance with Article 141.2 (b) of the Constitution.