William Ruto was sworn in as Kenya’s fifth president on Tuesday, a week after the Supreme Court upheld an election that dashed the hopes of the nation’s most prominent political families and handed power to a man who began his career as a roadside chicken seller.
Ruto, who served as deputy president for the past 10 years, takes over at a time of surging food and fuel prices, high unemployment and rising public debt.
By 5 a.m., 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 band.
“He is our fellow youth! I know he will bring us more opportunity,” said dancer Juma Dominic as he and his troupe warmed up.
The National Police Service had tweeted that the stadium was full by 5 a.m. 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.