Name:   Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta

Career/ Occupation:    President of Kenya

Overview:

Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta (born 26 October 1961) is the 4th and current President of Kenya, in office since 2013. He is the son of Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya’s first president, and his wife Ngina Kenyatta.

Uhuru Kenyatta was elected president of Kenya under The National Alliance (TNA), which was part of the Jubilee Alliance with his running mate William Ruto’s United Republican Party (URP). Uhuru and Ruto won 50.07% of votes cast, with closest rivals, Raila Odinga and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka of the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy gathering 42%. Raila disputed the election results at the Supreme Court which however held (7–0) that the election of Uhuru was valid and irregularities that existed did not make a difference to the final outcome. Uhuru Kenyatta was sworn in as President on 9 April 2013.

Background

Date of Birth: 26 October 1961

Ethnicity:        Kikuyu

Residence:      Nairobi

Nationality:    Kenyan

Citizenship:     Kenya

Education:      Attended St Mary’s School in Nairobi

University:        Amherst College

Professional Courses:           

  • Economics
  • Political science
  • Government

Family:

 Married to the first lady Margaret Gakuo Kenyatta with whom they have three children namely: Jomo, Jaba and Ngina

Early Life:

Uhuru is the son of Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya’s founding father and first president (1964–1978). His family hails from the Kikuyu, a Bantu ethnic group. His name “Uhuru” is from the Swahili term for “freedom”, and was given to him in anticipation of Kenya’s upcoming independence. Uhuru attended St Mary’s School in Nairobi. Between 1979 and 1980, he also briefly worked as a teller at the Kenya Commercial Bank.

After St. Mary’s, Uhuru went on to study economics, political science and government at the Amherst College in the United States. Upon his graduation, Uhuru returned to Kenya, and started a company called Wilham Kenya Limited, through which he sourced and exported agricultural produce.

Uhuru was nominated to Parliament in 2001, he became Minister for Local Government under President Daniel Arap Moi and, despite his political inexperience, he was preferred by President Moi as his successor; Kenyatta ran as KANU’s candidate in the December 2002 presidential election, but lost to opposition candidate Mwai Kibaki by a big margin. He subsequently became Leader of the Opposition in Parliament. He backed Kibaki for re-election in the December 2007 presidential election and was named Minister of Local Government by Kibaki in January 2008, before becoming Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade in April 2008 as part of a coalition government.

Successively Kenyatta became the Minister of Finance from 2009 to 2012, while remaining Deputy Prime Minister. Following his accusation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of committing crimes against humanity in relation to the violent outcome of the 2007 election, he resigned as Minister of Finance on 26 January 2012. He was elected as President of Kenya in the March 2013 presidential election, defeating Raila Odinga in a single round of voting.

Milestones:

  • Minister of Local Government from 2001 to 2002,
  • Leader of the Official Opposition from 2002 to 2007
  • Chairman of KANU in 1997.
  • In 1999 he was appointed chairman of the Kenya Tourism Board
  • . In 2001, Uhuru was nominated as Minister for Local Government.
  • In January 2005 Uhuru defeated Nicholas Biwott for chairmanship of KANU.
  • On 8 January 2008 he was appointed as Minister for Local Government.
  • On March 4, 2013, President of Kenya
  • He supervised the implementation of a new government administrative unit of counties, which replaced the previous unit of provinces. He also tactfully dealt with the complaints of poor governance, corruption, and insecurity.

Key Positions:

  • President of the republic of Kenya
  • Minister for finance
  • KANU chairman
  • chairman the Kenya Tourism Board

Awards:

  • Continental Award
  • The prestigious Award
  • Africa’s president of the year Award

Investments:

  • Wilham Kenya Limited
  • Brookside dairy
  • Mediamax Company
  • Heritage Hotels
  • Commercial bank of Africa (CBA)
  • Buzeki Dairy

Role Models:

Lee Kaun Yew

Mzee jomo Kenyatta

Political life

His initial entry into politics came through his election as the chairman of his hometown branch of the then ruling party, KANU, in 1997. This came with the tacit approval of President Moi. At the time, many saw the election as a calculated move to prepare Uhuru for bigger things to come.

In the Kenyan general election, 1997, Uhuru Kenyatta contested the Gatundu South Constituency parliamentary seat, once held by his father, but lost to Moses Mwihia, a Nairobi architect.

In 1999 Moi appointed Uhuru to chair the Kenya Tourism Board, a government parastatal. He was nominated to parliament in 2001, and subsequently appointed to the cabinet as Minister for Local Government. Following this, he was elected as one of the four national vice-chairmen of KANU in the same year.

In 2001, he was nominated as a Member of Parliament, and he joined the Cabinet as Minister for Local Government. He would also later be elected First Vice Chairman of KANU.

In the nomination process in 2002 in what was widely thought as undemocratic and underhand, Moi influenced Uhuru Kenyatta’s nomination as KANU’s preferred presidential candidate, sparking an outcry from other interested contenders and a massive exit from the party. This move by Moi was seen as a trick to install Uhuru as a puppet so that even in retirement, Moi would still rule the country through Uhuru and presumably insulate himself against charges of abuse of office that plagued his presidency.

Uhuru finished second to Mwai Kibaki in the General Elections, with 31% of the vote. He conceded defeat and took up an active leadership role as Leader of the Opposition.

In January 2005, Uhuru Kenyatta defeated Nicholas Biwott for chairmanship of KANU, taking 2,980 votes among party delegates against Biwott’s 622 votes.

Uhuru led his party KANU in the referendum campaigns against the draft constitution in 2005, having teamed up with the Liberal Democratic Party, a rebel faction in the Kibaki government, to form the Orange Democratic Movement. The result of this was a vote against the adoption of the draft constitution by a noticeable margin, which was a great political embarrassment to Kibaki.

In November 2006, Kenyatta was displaced as KANU leader by Biwott. On 28 December 2006, the High Court of Kenya reinstated Uhuru Kenyatta as KANU chairman. However, further court proceedings followed. On 28 June 2007, the High Court confirmed Kenyatta as party leader, ruling that there was insufficient evidence for Biwott’s argument that Kenyatta had joined another party.

In the run up to the 2007 general election, he led KANU to join a coalition (called Party of National Unity “PNU”) with President Mwai Kibaki who was running for a second term against Raila Odinga. PNU won the controversial 2007 elections but the dispute over the poll resulted in the 2007-08 post elections violence. Under an agreement between the two parties to end the chaos, Kibaki remained as president in a power sharing agreement with Raila as Prime Minister, while Uhuru Kenyatta was Kibaki’s choice as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance in his share of the Cabinet slots.

ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo charged Uhuru, who was a PNU leader, as an indirect co-perpetrator in the violence that followed the 2007-08 post-election violence, and the charges were confirmed on 23 January 2012. The Prosecutor also charged William Ruto who had been a supporter of ODM, rivals of the PNU in the 2007 election. Uhuru resigned as Minister of Finance upon the confirmation of the charges but maintained his innocence. The charges were dropped on 13 March 2015 for lack of evidence

On 13 September 2007, Kenyatta withdrew from the December 2007 presidential election in favor of Kibaki for re-election. He said that he did not want to run unless he could be sure of winning.

Following the election, amidst the controversy that resulted when Kibaki was declared the victor despite claims of fraud from challenger Raila Odinga and his Orange Democratic Movement, Kibaki appointed Kenyatta as Minister for Local Government on 8 January 2008. After Kibaki and Odinga reached a power-sharing agreement, Kenyatta was named Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade on 13 April 2008, as part of the Grand Coalition Cabinet. He was the Deputy Prime Minister representing the PNU, while Deputy Prime Minister, Musalia Mudavadi, represented ODM.

Kenyatta and the rest of the Cabinet were sworn in on 17 April. Uhuru Kenyatta was later moved from Local Government and appointed Minister for Finance on 23 January 2009. During his tenure, he spearheaded a number of reform measures that changed how treasury and government by extension transact business, such as the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) and a fund for the inclusion of the informal sector in the mainstream economy.

Uhuru ran for president in the elections held on 4 March 2013 and garnered 6,173,433 votes (50.03%) out of the 12,338,667 votes cast. As this was above the 50% plus 1 vote threshold, he won the election in the first round thus evading a run-off between the top two candidates. He was therefore declared the fourth President of the Republic of Kenya by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

According to the IEBC,Raila Odinga garnered 5,340,546 votes (43.4%) and was thus the second in the field of eight candidates. CORD, under the leadership of presidential candidate Raila Odinga, lodged a petition with the Supreme Court of Kenya on 10 March 2013 challenging Uhuru’s election. On 30 March 2013, Dr Willy Mutunga, the Chief Justice of Kenya, read the unanimous Supreme Court ruling declaring the election of Uhuru Kenyatta and his running-mate, William Ruto, as valid.

Major Development Projects

President Kenyatta has launched several major development projects in Kenya including the world’s largest geothermal power plant at Olkaria. The plant is expected to bring down power costs in Kenya by 30%. The President, together with other East African leaders, also launched the Standard Gauge Railway running from Mombasa to Uganda, South Sudan and Rwanda. President Kenyatta made a key campaign promise to provide all children joining Primary school with laptops. However, the project has stalled after the High Court of Kenya nullified the tender for supply of the laptops due to irregularities in the tendering process.

Economic Growth

A re-evaluation of the Economy of Kenya was conducted during President Kenyatta’s administration and found the economy to be 25% larger than was previously thought. Kenya is therefore now a lower middle income country with a GDP of USD 55.2 billion and has the ninth largest economy in Africa. Under President Kenyatta, the economy has grown at the rate of 5.7% per annum and is expected to retain this rate of growth. The World Bank has stated that the economy is strong and sentiments positive following a successful Eurobond issue in June 2014 which raised $2 billion. On 22 September 2014, the Kenyatta Administration concluded its Article IV consultation with the International Monetary Fund (“IMF”), and the overall assessment on debt sustainability and other indicators was found to be positive and the IMF acclaimed Kenyatta’s economic policies. Poverty levels in the country have dropped but are still considerably high with 42% living below the poverty line.

Insecurity

President Kenyatta’s came in at a time when security issues in Kenya were on the rise but with combined efforts, he has assured Kenyans of security and implemented measures that can be vividly seen. The Westgate attack in September 2013, the killing of security officers in Baringo and the Mpeketoni attack occurred shortly after he was declared president and something had to be done. President Kenyatta has decided to continue Operation Linda Nchi, a military operation in neighboring Somalia to flush out the Al-Shabaab (militant group). The group has in return launched several terror attacks in Kenya. Kenya has even gone a step further to build a military wall at the Kenya Somalia boarder so as to monitor the movements at the boarder.The operation was started by the previous administration of President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga. The former prime minister, now opposition leader, has criticized the continued operation as unnecessary

Approval ratings

His government’s first year in office received low ratings from the general public. This is after a poll by Synovate indicated that more than half of the population was unhappy with how the government had conducted its affairs. The same polls also ranked the presidency as the second most trusted institution after the media. After his appearance at The Hague for his ICC case in October 2014, his poll ratings improved to 71%, according to a poll by Synovate. A poll by Gallup in August 2014 put his approval ratings at 78%, giving him the third best job approval ratings among African Presidents after Ian Khama of Botswana and Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta of Mali.

Television Interviews links:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ftu1P8RrA5g

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyUV-jxsBng

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHMJtplIlL4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAEaoRipYXk

Sources/ references:

http://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/uhuru-kenyatta-5848.php

http://www.britannica.com/biography/Uhuru-Kenyatta

http://www.bornrich.com/uhuru-kenyatta.html

 

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.