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 Monday, 30 December, 2002, 16:44 GMT
New Kenya leader promises reform
Outgoing President Daniel arap Moi (l) with his successor Mwai Kibaki
Handover of power: From Moi (l) to Kibaki
Kenya's new leader Mwai Kibaki says his administration will not engage in a witch-hunt against the party that ruled the country since its independence in 1963.

In his inaugural speech before huge crowds in central Nairobi, Mr Kibaki said: "Our task will be to advance Kenya's interests and ensure they are well served."

Mwai Kibaki during his swearing in as president
I promise not to let you down

Mwai Kibaki
New president
And he promised sweeping reforms - free primary education, better healthcare, a stronger economy - as well as ending corruption.

He said there were enormous challenges ahead and he called on all Kenyans to help rebuild their nation.

"I promise not to let you down," he told the crowd. "I will be your servant in all humility and gratitude."

But the first head of state to come from the ranks of the opposition did not mince his words when he referred to years of "misrule and ineptitude" by his predecessor Daniel arap Moi.

Mr Kibaki declared: "Corruption will now cease to be a way of life in Kenya.

Open in new window : Kenya's new president
Mwai Kibaki's inauguration in pictures

"I call upon all those members of my government and public officers accustomed to corrupt practices to know and clearly understand that there will be no sacred cow under my government."

Euphoric mood

Hundreds of thousands attended the inauguration in historic Uhuru Park, witnessed by regional heads of state.

A ramp was built for Mr Kibaki, 71, who is in a wheelchair after a car accident on the campaign trail.

Daniel arap Moi prays during  his successor's inauguration
The people of Kenya have spoken

Daniel arap Moi
Outgoing president
The BBC's Ishbel Matheson in Nairobi says the mood was euphoric.

At the end of the brief ceremony there was a huge cheer from the crowd.

Mr Moi admitted he had mixed feelings about handing over power, but agreed that "the people of Kenya have spoken".

"You have expressed your democratic right in a mature and peaceful way," he said.

"You are a credit to your country and a demonstration to the world that Africa can manage its own destiny without destruction."

However, the outgoing president was booed and pelted with earth as he made his final speech as head of state.

Overwhelming win

Mr Kibaki is Kenya's third head of state.

He roundly defeated governing Kanu party candidate Uhuru Kenyatta in Friday's poll in which his National Rainbow Coalition (Narc) won a landslide victory.

He was declared the winner on Sunday after the electoral commission said he had an unassailable lead.

The Institute for Education in Democracy - an organisation helping the electoral commission - said Mr Kibaki had won 63% of the vote to 30% for Mr Kenyatta.

The opposition is also reported to have won an overwhelming majority in parliament.

Correspondents say voters appear to have tired of the corruption, poverty and ailing economy that have blighted the lives of many Kenyans over recent years.

Jubilant crowds at President Kibaki's inauguration
Crowds cheered every blast of a 21-gun salute for the new president
The majority can only remember one president - Mr Moi, who was in power from 1978 but was constitutionally obliged to step down.

Commonwealth election observers declared the poll "free, fair, peaceful and transparent".

The international community also praised the election and welcomed Mr Kibaki's victory.

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan issued a statement congratulating the new president.

He said the UN would "continue to support the efforts of the new government and people of Kenya to consolidate the democratic process, improve governance and foster economic development."

US Secretary of State Colin Powell said: "The president-elect has made a commitment to ending corruption.

"This would be good for the Kenyan people and, of course, good for relations with the United States."

  The BBC's Andrew Harding
"A day of joy and hope"
  Sir David Steel
"Kibaki is a very clever economist"
Kenyans choose a new president

Key stories

Inauguration day

Moi steps down




See also:

29 Dec 02 | Media reports
29 Dec 02 | Business
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