Inside Transition Committee Handing Over Power to New President

However, the persons who get to sit in the committee have already been stipulated in the Constitution of Kenya

Inside Transition Committee Handing Over Power to New President
Raila Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto. /VIRALTEAKE

Ahead of the highly-anticipated announcement of the presidential results, preparations are underway ahead of the swearing-in ceremony of Kenya's fifth president.

An Assumption of the Office of President Committee was established and it held its inaugural meeting at Harambee House in Nairobi on Friday, August 12, which was broadcasted live.

However, the persons who get to sit in the committee have already been stipulated in the Constitution of Kenya by virtue of the rank and position they hold either in the Cabinet, military or the National Assembly.

President Uhuru Kenyatta after taking over from the late former President Mwai Kibaki in 2013. /VOA NEWS

Article 141 of the Constitution reveals the procedure and ceremony for the assumption of the Office of President by the President-elect, and in this case, between Deputy President William Ruto and former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga.

The law goes on to add that the Committee will be an ad hoc committee.

It will consist of: the Secretary to the Cabinet who shall be the chairperson, the Attorney-General, the Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of the registration of persons and immigration, the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of internal security, the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of foreign affairs.

Others are the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of information and communication, the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of culture and social services, the Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, the Director-General of the National Intelligence Service, the Inspector-General of the National Police Service, the person in charge of the administration of the affairs of the State House, the Clerk of the National Assembly, the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary.

Also included are three persons nominated by the President-elect. The Clerk of the Senate and the Secretary to the Intergovernmental Relations Secretariat, are appointed under the law relating to intergovernmental relations. 

The Constitution also indicates that a vacancy in the membership of the Committee shall not affect the decisions of the Committee.

The Transition Committee in this case will be led by Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, with other members including Interior CS Fred Matiangi, PS Karanja Kibicho, Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai, Gen. Kibochi, NIS Director General and Major General (Rtd) Philip Wachira Kameru.

Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Atieno Amadi, State House Comptroller, Kinuthia Mbugua, Attorney General Paul Kihara Kariuki, Communications and Technology Principal Secretary (PS), Jerome Ochieng, National Treasury Julius Muia, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Macharia Kamau, Devolution PS Julius Korir, Sports PS Joe Okudo, and the Solicitor General Ken Ogeto also consist of members of that committee.

The Transition Committee this time round raised a bit of eyebrows in political circles since a majority of them have served in President Uhuru Kenyatta's administration. However, these are the people required by the Constitution to sit in that committee.

The role of this committee is to:

  1. Facilitate handing over process between the outgoing president and the president-elect
  2. Organize security for the president-elect
  3. Organize personnel and facilities as needed for the president-elect
  4. Organize briefing of the president-elect by various public officers
  5. Organize the swearing-in ceremony of the president-elect

"Our mandate will be triggered once the electoral commission (IEBC) formally announces a president-elect. We will be making periodic briefings to the nation as the transition process kicks off," Kinyua mentioned.

He added that the date of the swearing-in ceremony of the president-elect will be declared a public holiday.

There remains a possibility of President Uhuru staying in power past August 9, even if he has since lost some of his powers. By law, IEBC must declare the results of the presidential election by Tuesday, August 16, the week after the election process.

If no petition against the election outcome is filed at the Supreme Court, then the new President will be sworn in on Tuesday, August 30, paving way for President Uhuru to retire. However, if the presidential election outcome is challenged with a petition, such must be filed by Monday, August 22, holding that IEBC declares the results by August 16.

Should that happen, the Supreme Court will have 14 days to consider and determine the petition by Monday, September 5. If the election is upheld, the new president would be sworn in on Tuesday, September 13 allowing President Kenyatta to retire.

President Uhuru Kenyatta arrives at Lang'ata Barracks in Nairobi City County for the Trooping of the Color Ceremony, and the official opening the Kenya Army Band Headquarters and Defence Forces School of Music on July 29, 2022. /PSCU

What happens during the presidential handover (Summary)

  1. The president-elect will be picked from their residences by the presidential motorcade under heavy security from the General Service Unit (GSU)
  2. The procession will then proceed to the venue for the inauguration ceremony. While on transit the president-elect will be briefed on matters such as the state of the economy, intelligence and government structures
  3. The president shall take an oath of office administered by the Chief Justice or his deputy as prescribed in the Third Schedule.
  4. The president shall then sign a certificate of inauguration
  5. The outgoing president shall hand over the instruments of power to the incumbent. These are a sword and the Constitution of Kenya.
  6. The Aide De Camp will move behind the new president to signal the completion of the change of guard.
  7. The incoming president gives a speech prepared by the organizing committee.
  8. The outgoing president will then hand over State House to the newly sworn-in President