NAIROBI, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has been sworn into office for a second term with a call for unity and for Kenyans to work hard to build a united, stable, and prosperous nation.

Kenyatta Tuesday took his oath of office amidst a cheering crowd of some 60,000 Kenyans and dozens of foreign dignitaries at the Kasarani Sports Complex here to witness the landmark event. The President’s swearing in was followed by that of Deputy President William Ruto, who was greeted with chants of 2022.

The President’s inauguration speech was on the theme of unity and optimism and outlined Kenyatta’s vision for the next five years. “The path to a better future is unity. I believe that we can build a nation in which we live in peace with our brothers and sisters, whatever part of the country they come from, whichever way we worship God, whatever language we speak, he said.

Instead of division, I know that we can build a Kenya which prospers by rewarding hard work, and leaving no one behind, he said, while urging Kenyans to free themselves from the grievances of the past and to obey the law as they work hard to build a united, stable, and prosperous nation.

He said his government would continue respecting ethnic, cultural and religious diversity; and that Kenyans would continue living in peace and unity as one indivisible sovereign nation.

I undertake to be the custodian of the dreams of all, and to be the keeper of the aspirations of those who voted for me and those who did not. I will be the President of all. And I will devote my time and energy to build bridges to unite and bring prosperity to all Kenyans, said Kenyatta.

Noting that within three years, Kenya had risen 56 places in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index, from 136th to 80th ranking, Kenyatta said Kenya was building an entirely new world-class railway system; and thousands of kilometres of access roads to connect producers to markets.

The President expressed his commitment to work with leaders from across the political divide in building a stronger nation. In his speech the President outlined his vision for the next five years.

Among those attending the ceremony were Zambian President Edgar Lungu, Somalia President Mohamed abdullahi Farmajo, Namibian President Hage Geingob, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, South Sudan President Salva Kiir, Botswana’s President Seretse Khama, Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelle, South Sudan President Salva Kiir and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Other dignitaries included the Prime Minister of Togo Mamadi Youla, Gaston Sindimwo, the First Vice President of Burundi, Swaziland Prime Minister Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini, Vice-President of Nigeria Yemi Osinbajo, Tanzanian Vice-President Salma Hassan, former Zambia President Rubia Banda, former South African President Thabo Mbeki, Pierre Buyoya, the African Union (AU) High Representative for Mali, and Amina Toure, the former Prime Minister of Senegal.