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 Monday, 30 December, 2002, 15:53 GMT
Eyewitness: Kenya's historic day
Moi (left) and Kibaki (right)
Moi greets his successor Kibaki

This was the day that Mwai Kibaki's supporters had been waiting for and they were going to enjoy every minute of it.

The crowds started to arrive early at the parade ground where Mr Kibaki would be sworn in.

Right from start there was a holiday mood.

A group of young men kept everyone entertained by staging a mock military parade.

The real military men, dressed in their ceremonial red jackets and waiting for the order to march, didn't quite know what to make of it.

Chaos

This was a hurriedly arranged handover of power and it showed in an almost total lack of organisation.

Excited supporter
Crowds did grow impatient at the delays
Up on the stand new parliamentarians milled about wondering where to sit.

Over the loudspeaker someone could be heard begging them to move over, warning that they couldn't have ambassadors and even presidents arriving to find no seats for them.

Tens of thousands of people were allowed to pour into the relatively small ceremonial area until someone belatedly realised that there was no room for the military parade.

When the military band struck up, the instrumentalists practically had to cut their own path through the crowd.

So did the cars carrying the visiting heads of state and the president-elect himself.

Cheers

When Mr Kibaki arrived, the crowd rose to its feet and roared.

Umbrellas which were being used as sunshades were waved chaotically in the air. The people were told that Kenya could be proud of its democratic election. The people clapped and cheered in return.

  WATCH/LISTEN
  ON THIS STORY
  Sir David Steel
"Kibaki is a very clever economist"
  The BBC's Andrew Harding reports from Nairobi
"It won't take much to get this country up and running a lot better"
Kenyans choose a new president

Key stories

Inauguration day

Moi steps down

Background

INTERACTIVE GUIDE

AUDIO VIDEO

TALKING POINT
See also:

30 Dec 02 | Africa
29 Dec 02 | Media reports
29 Dec 02 | Business
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