Zuma congratulates newly elected Kenyan President

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Pretoria – President Jacob Zuma on Saturday congratulated the newly elected President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta.

“President Zuma would like to congratulate Mr Uhuru Kenyatta, the people of Kenya and the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC), following the successful and peaceful conclusion of the Kenyan General Elections held on 4 March 2013,” the Department of International Relations and Cooperation said in a statement.

“President Zuma looks forward to working together with the Kenyan Government and the people of Kenya in strengthening bilateral relations which have tangible benefits for our people and in which South Africa and Kenya can learn from one another as we seek to contribute positively to our regional bodies and our Continent,” the department said.

Speaking at the Presidential Guesthouse on Saturday during the Summit of the Troika of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, Zuma said: “What the people of Kenya have done is what democracy is all about.”

The South African Government has commended the leadership and staff of the IEBC for the work they achieved throughout the electoral process and the commitment demonstrated in discharging their functions professionally and impartially by engaging the public and political parties in an open, transparent and accountable manner to ensure that it effectively delivers on its mandate.

According to the department, the elections were conducted in a peaceful, transparent and credible manner that accorded the people of Kenya the opportunity to express themselves freely at the polls.

“South Africa participated in the observation of the elections under the auspices of the African Union Election Observer Mission and the Commonwealth Observer Mission and wishes to commend the people of Kenya and the other candidates for the patience and commitment they demonstrated on Election Day, as well as during the period leading up to the final announcement of the outcome of the elections by the IEBC, to uphold peace and never again allow their country to be wracked by violence,” the department said.

The South African Government is confident that any of the parties that might have a dispute with the outcome of the General Elections will adhere to the Electoral Code of Conduct and their undertaking to follow the required legal avenues that have been put in place for managing such disputes.

The African Union Election Observer Mission has reported that elections in Kenya were conducted in accordance with the 2010 Constitution and the legal framework for the conduct of elections in the Republic of Kenya; the July 2002 Durban OAU Declaration on The Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections in Africa; the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance; as well as the Guidelines of the African Union Election Observation Missions and Election Monitoring. 

Since the introduction of multiparty democracy in 1992, the people of Kenya have shown their determination and will to consolidate peace, enhance national reconciliation, strengthen Kenya’s democratic process and lay the foundation for economic and social development.  - SAnews.gov.za