Supporters injured in crush ahead of Ruto’s inauguration as Kenyan president

Published September 14, 2022
SECURITY forces intervene during a stampede at the entrance of a sports centre in Nairobi before the new president’s inauguration ceremony on Tuesday.—AFP
SECURITY forces intervene during a stampede at the entrance of a sports centre in Nairobi before the new president’s inauguration ceremony on Tuesday.—AFP

NAIROBI: Supporters of Deputy President William Ruto were injured in a crush at a packed sports stadium on Tuesday as they jostled to get in to see him sworn in as Kenya’s fifth president.

The National Police Service had tweeted that the stadium was full and asked citizens to stay home, but crowds continued to try to force their way inside. The St John’s Ambulance Service said it had taken several injured people to hospital.

Ruto — a gifted orator known for long working hours — takes over from Uhuru Kenyatta at a time of surging food and fuel prices, high unemployment and rising public debt.

“We want less and less government in people’s lives, and more and more services to the people of Kenya,” Ruto’s deputy Rigathi Gachagua told state-run KBC Television, as he pumped weights before the ceremony in a canary yellow tracksuit.

In July, a court ordered Gachagua to repay 202 million shillings ($1.7 million) which it determined were the proceeds of corruption. Ruto dismissed the judgement as politically motivated, promising to rein in what he described as corruption investigations targeting political opponents.

By 0500 local time. Nairobi’s 60,000-seat Kasarani Sports Centre was packed with Ruto’s supporters resplendent in his party’s colours of yellow and green. They danced and waved miniature national flags to the strains of a brand.

Published in Dawn, September 14th, 2022

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