Before the 2010 Constitution, Deputy Presidents, then referred to as Vice-Presidents, were appointed by the President and therefore not sworn in on the same day as the President. However, the new Constitution sought to get rid of Deputy Presidents serving at the behest of the President and instead the Deputy President is to be elected alongside the President and later, sworn in on the same day as the President-elect.

Today, Tuesday 13 September, as Rigathi Gachagua takes the oath of office, he will become the second Deputy President under the new Constitutional dispensation, and overall, Kenya’s 12th second in command. 

According to the Assumption of Office of the President Act, the swearing in of the Deputy President-elect is to take place immediately after the President has been handed the instruments of power (the Constitution and a ceremonial sword of power) by the outgoing President, which is followed by a  21-gun salute from the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF). 

When the time comes, Chief Justice Martha Koome will call upon the Deputy President-elect to take his position at the inauguration arena, in readiness to take the oath of office in accordance with Article 148 of the Constitution. 

Once the Deputy President-elect is in the arena, the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary, Anne Amadi, will then proceed to administer the oath in the presence of the Chief Justice. As is with the President-elect, the Deputy President-elect is to take and subscribe to two oaths: the oath of allegiance and the solemn affirmation of due execution of the office of the Deputy President. The oath of allegiance is the same as that sworn by the President-elect. However, the due execution oath is longer as it mentions the Deputy’s role of giving counsel and advice to the President and commitment to secrecy of the office.

Thereafter, the Deputy President will proceed to sign the certificate of oath as the Chief Justice pays witness. Subsequently, the Chief Justice will also append her signature to the oaths and present them back to the Deputy President, enclosed in an official folder. Unlike the President-elect, the Deputy is not issued with a certificate of inauguration.

The Deputy President will then give a speech before inviting the President to make his inaugural speech to the nation.

Oath or solemn affirmation of due execution of office for the Deputy President

I, ……………… , do swear/solemnly affirm that I will always truly and diligently serve the people and the Republic of Kenya in the office of the Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya; that I will diligently discharge my duties and perform my functions in the said office, to the best of my judgment; that I will at all times, when so required, faithfully and truly give my counsel and advice to the President of the Republic of Kenya; that I will do justice to all without fear, favour, affection or ill-will; and that I will not directly or indirectly reveal such matters as shall come to my knowledge in the discharge of my duties and committed to my secrecy. (In the case of an oath–– So help me God.)