Uhuru Kenyatta

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Uhuru Kenyatta
Uhuru Kenyatta Official.jpg
4th President of Kenya
Assumed office
9 April 2013
Deputy William Ruto
Preceded by Mwai Kibaki
Deputy Prime Minister of Kenya
In office
17 April 2008 – 9 April 2013
Serving with Musalia Mudavadi
President Mwai Kibaki
Prime Minister Raila Odinga
Minister of Finance
In office
23 January 2009 – 26 January 2012
Preceded by John Michuki
Succeeded by Robinson Njeru Githae
Leader of Opposition
In office
January 2003 – December 2007
Preceded by Mwai Kibaki
Member of Parliament
for Gatundu South
In office
January 2003 – January 2013
Preceded by Moses Mwihia
Succeeded by Jossy Ngugi
Personal details
Born (1961-10-26) 26 October 1961 (age 53)
Nairobi, Kenya Colony
Nationality Kenyan
Political party TNA (2012–present)
KANU (before 2012)
Spouse(s) Margaret Gakuo (m. 1991)
Relations Jomo Kenyatta (father)
Alma mater University of Massachusetts Amherst
Religion Catholicism[citation needed]
Website www.uhuru.co.ke

Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta (born 26 October 1961) is the fourth and the current President of Kenya, in office since 9 April 2013. He previously served in the Government of Kenya as Minister for Local Government from 2001 to 2002, and he was leader of the official opposition from 2002 to 2007; subsequently he was Deputy Prime Minister from 2008 to 2013. He served as the Member of Parliament for Gatundu South Constituency beginning in 2002. Kenyatta was also Chairman of Kenya African National Union (KANU), which was a part of the Party of National Unity (PNU).

Early life[edit]

Uhuru with his father and the West German President Heinrich Lübke.

Kenyatta 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 given name "Uhuru" is from a 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.[1]

After St. Mary's, Uhuru went on to study political science at University of Massachusetts Amherst in the United States.[2][3] Little is known of his time in the United States, and the paucity of information has been fertile ground for rumor and speculation.[according to whom?] Upon his graduation, Uhuru returned to Kenya, and started a company Wilham Kenya Limited, through which he sourced and exported agricultural produce.[4]

Nominated to Parliament in 2001, he became Minister for Local Government under President Daniel Arap Moi and, despite his political inexperience, was favoured 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.

Subsequently Kenyatta was Minister of Finance from 2009 to 2012, while remaining Deputy Prime Minister. Accused by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of committing crimes against humanity in relation to the violent aftermath 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 with a narrow majority in a single round of voting.

Political life[edit]

His initial entry into politics came through his election as the chairman of his hometown branch of the 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.

In the general election held the same year, Uhuru Kenyatta contested the Gatundu South Constituency parliamentary seat, once held by his father. It was assumed he would sail through. But that was not to be: Uhuru lost to Moses Mwihia, a little-known Nairobi architect. After losing the election, Uhuru's friends say that he was extremely upset and that he vowed to quit politics altogether.

He hurriedly retreated to the family business empire that includes five-star tourist hotels, airlines and commercial farming. Little did Uhuru know that President Moi was still intent on propelling him onto the national political scene, which he did in a public function.

In 1999 Moi appointed Uhuru the new chairman of the Kenya Tourism Board, where he worked with Kenya's political power-broker Nicholas Biwott, a very close confidante of the president. Apparently the young Uhuru was undergoing even more intensive training. Then came October 2001 and Uhuru was nominated to parliament and subsequently to the cabinet as Minister for Local Government. In March of this year Uhuru Kenyatta made it big on the national political scene when he was elected as one of the four national vice-chairmen of KANU.

President Moi paid a heavy price for ensuring Kenyatta was KANU's presidential candidate, with several senior party figures, their own ambitions thwarted, resigning to set up another party (the Liberal Democratic Party). Since he joined Moi's inner circle, Uhuru Kenyatta has been fighting to prove that he is his own man and not Moi's stooge. In late January 2005, Uhuru Kenyatta defeated Nicholas Biwott for chairmanship of KANU, taking 2,980 votes among party delegates against Biwott's 622.[5]

Uhuru led his party KANU in Campaigns against the draft constitution in 2005, having teamed up with the Liberal Democratic Party to form the Orange Democratic Movement. This saw Kenyans humiliate the government by voting not to adopt the draft constitution by a noticeable margin.

In November 2006, Kenyatta was displaced as KANU leader by Biwott, although Kenyatta said he would not accept the decision.[6][7] On 28 December 2006, the High Court of Kenya reinstated Uhuru Kenyatta as KANU chairman. However, further court proceedings followed.[8] 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.[9]

On 13 September 2007, Kenyatta withdrew from the December 2007 presidential election and said that he would back Kibaki for re-election.[10] He said that he did not want to run unless he could be sure of winning.[11]

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.[12] 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 another Deputy Prime Minister, Musalia Mudavadi, represented the ODM.[13][14][15] Kenyatta and the rest of the Cabinet were sworn in on 17 April.[16][17]

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.[18] 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.[19] On 30 March 2013, Dr Willy Mutunga, the Chief Justice of Kenya, made a ruling declaring the election of Uhuru Kenyatta and his running-mate, William Ruto, as free and fair,[20]

In July 2015 Kenyatta received President Barack Obama of the United States of America as part of an official visit.

Minister of Finance[edit]

Uhuru Kenyatta was moved from the post of Minister for Trade and appointed Minister for Finance on 23 January 2009, while remaining Deputy Prime Minister.[21] After his appointment, he spearheaded a number of reform measures that have seen a change in how treasury and government by extension transacts it business. These include:

Economic Stimulus Programme[edit]

The Economic Stimulus Programme, commonly referred to as ESP Kenya Economic Stimulus Program, was launched under the leadership of Uhuru Kenyatta in his capacity as the Minister for Finance. ESP is an intensive, high impact programme, that aims to stimulate economic activity, create employment opportunities, encourage innovation in wealth-creation, spur entrepreneurship and support the building blocks that anchor a healthy, educated and innovative populace.

Kenya Economic Stimulus Program outlines various objectives including boosting the country's economic recovery, investing in long term solutions to the challenges of food security, expanding economic opportunities in rural areas for employment creation, promoting regional development for equity and social stability, improving infrastructure, enhancing the quality of education, availing affordable health-care for all Kenyans, investing in the conservation of the environment and expanding the access to and building the ICT capacity of the general populace of Kenya.[22] In launching the Economic Stimulus Programme, the Ministry of Finance aimed to achieve regional development for equity and social stability.

Integrated Financial Management Information System re-engineered[edit]

Originally introduced in 2003, the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS)[23] was re-engineered by the Ministry of Finance to curb fraud and other malpractices that stem from inefficiency. In re-engineering IFMIS, the Ministry aimed to put Kenya's financial and economic information in a format that was accessible from an online platform, which would radically improve public expenditure management under the Ministry of Finance.

IFMIS enables fully integrated planning for the budgeting process since it links planning policy objectives and budget allocation.[24] It also seeks to support the e-Government shared services strategy by taking government financial services online. IFMIS will ensure that status reports are readily available, which enhances capacity to track budgets thus enabling effective decision-making. The three pronged benefits of IFMIS include leading to improvements in planning and budgeting, monitoring, evaluation and accountability and budget execution. Other benefits include aiding in the reduction in maintenance cost of government fleets in terms of fuel and spares where huge losses have been previously incurred.

IFMIS can also accommodate last minute changes on the budget more easily thereby increasing accuracy of presentation. Also, the availability of accounting information in a consolidated format will allow the government's books and those of the Central Bank of Kenya to be reconciled. In pioneering the re-engineering of IFMIS, Uhuru's Treasury provided the whole of government a way of dealing with corruption; an evil that has drained Kenya's national coffers of much needed resources. With the system in place, corruption could be reduced.

Funds for the Inclusion of Informal Sector[edit]

Uhuru Kenyatta launched the Fund for the Inclusion of Informal Sector (FIIS),[25] a fund that allows Micro and Small Entrepreneurs (MSE) to access credit facilities, expand their businesses and increase their savings.

It also aims to help informal enterprises transition to formal sector enterprises through access to formal providers of financial services. The fund is a revolving fund through which the government enters into credit facility agreements with select banks for on-lending to MSEs through branches, authorised banking agents and other channels, particularly mobile banking.

It was launched in March 2011, and so far it has 3 banks, the Cooperative Bank of Kenya, Equity Bank and K-Rep bank, as partners. The launch of the fund seeks to address many of the defining challenges facing Kenya's national economy like unemployment, particularly among youths. Through the fund, the Ministry of Finance has undertaken the necessary steps to transform the SME sector to be one of the key drivers for achieving broad based economic growth, employment creation and poverty reduction in Kenya.

Its objective is to ensure that the MSE sector becomes efficient, innovative and has a diversified and competitive product range. It will also provide policies that raise the earnings and productivity of the sector and transform the sector into a more formal setup. Through directing the development of the fund, Uhuru Kenyatta sought to ensure Financial Inclusion of an estimated 8.3 million Kenyans working in the informal sector. These included 2 million in the Jua Kali sector and 5 million kiosk owners, mama mbogas and hawkers, with the rest in the informal transport sectors and the small-scale manufacturing sectors.

Investor compensation fund[edit]

The operations of the investor compensation fund, which aimed to compensate investors who had lost money to defunct stock brokers such as Nyaga Stock Brokers and Discount Securities Limited, was launched under his watch. In launching the operations of the fund, also ensured that the interests of future investors were safeguarded. The fund had prior to the launch of its operations been established under the Capital Markets Act.

This Fund is specifically meant to compensate investors who suffer losses resulting from failure of a licensed stockbroker or dealer to meet his contractual obligations. In both the case of the collapse of Nyaga Stock Brokers and the collapse of Discount Securities Limited all genuine claims within the statutory maximum of Sh.50,000 per every investor were compensated.

Uhuru Kenyatta also directed that interest on contributions made to the investor compensation fund be exempt from tax.

Treasury's Internal Audit Department[edit]

Through the Ministry of Finance, Uhuru Kenyatta initiated an internal audit on all donor-funded projects and found that funds given to both KESSP and WKCDD had been misappropriated. Together with the relevant ministries, Uhuru Kenyatta directed that the related staff members be suspended.[26]

The government, through treasury and public financial management reforms, strengthened audit capacity as a result of structured capacity building and the merger of all Government of Kenya (GoK) audit functions (including those of schools and local authorities) so as to enhance their independence and effectiveness. The Ministry of Finance also issued a circular to bring donor-funded projects within the mandate of the Treasury's Internal Audit Department (IAD) with an aim of effectively monitoring the use of funds allocated to these projects.

On 13 June 2011, Uhuru also released a statement on the Final Forensic Audit Report for Ministry of Education and Ministry of Medical Services. The forensic audit itself was carried out between April and September 2010 and involved the Ministry of Finance Internal Audit Department (IAD) with technical support from DFID. This forensic audit showed misappropriations in the named ministries.[27]

Cutting government expenditure[edit]

In 2009, Uhuru Kenyatta directed that government Ministers, along with Assistant Ministers and Permanent Secretaries, should turn in their Mercedes-Benz government cars for Volkswagen Passats.[28] In doing this he aimed not only to reduce government car costs to about two-thirds the price of a Mercedes-Benz but also to reduce the cost of running and maintaining these cars.

Time Magazine reported that, "Thanks to a government cost-cutting program aimed at saving taxpayers some $27 million, Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta announced this summer that government ministers, along with assistant ministers and permanent secretaries, must turn in their ubiquitous Mercedes-Benz for Volkswagen Passats, which not only cost about two-thirds the price of a new Benz in Kenya, but are, says the government, cheaper to run and maintain."[29]

Use of social media in the budget making process[edit]

The Business Daily, one of the Kenya's leading financial newspapers, reported Treasury invites Kenyans to 'tweet' their budget views.[30] "Citing Article 10 of the Constitution of Kenya, which recognizes inclusiveness as part of the National Values and Principles of governance, the Minister said he was pursuing a more inclusive means of formulating the document.... Within three hours, more than 300 people had submitted responses to the Treasury using an on-line document that asked questions like which sectors should get funding and how the government could increase its tax intake."

'All Twitter' reported,[31] "In a move that might be the most social media friendly we've seen from a politician, Kenya's Finance Minister has asked his Twitter followers for their input on the country's budget—and promises to take their comments into consideration in the next draft ... but this request from Kenya's Finance Minister goes above and beyond political representation to hear directly from the people.... This is a populist gesture which only favours those with enough money to use Twitter. It remains to be seen whether Kenyatta is a politician who is really interested in actually hearing from the people."

Uhuru Kenyatta's use of social media has superficially endeared him to the tech savvy community in Kenya but not to most people who cannot use it. Aljazeera's The Stream, which taps into the potential of social media to disseminate news, covered Uhuru's use of Social Media in their show.[32]

The Minister also notably called on other members of parliament during his 2011/2012 budget speech to use social media to communicate directly with Kenyans.

Open government[edit]

The Minister released the budget estimates to the public through the Ministry website[33] a week before the reading of the Budget and immediately the budget was read, his Budget Speech,[34] A Citizen's Guide to the Budget,[35] were made public through his various platform. These are some of the actions that have seen him declared as a proponent of open government.


Budgetary discrepancies[edit]

Though noted as one of the few ministers without any scandals,[36] on 29 April 2009, Uhuru faced a scare after he presented a supplemental budget that was approved by parliament. The supplemental budget was to cover the budget gap that had arisen due to slow economic growth. The government required an additional Kshs 38 billion, but compromised on a figure of Kshs 22 billion and non-essential proposed expenditure was postponed as a result. After voting on the bill brought forward by Kenyatta, Gitobu Imanyara brought up discrepancy questions as to what exactly had been approved by the house. It appeared that parliament had voted on Kshs 31 billion as opposed to Kshs 22 billion that they thought they were voting on – the difference totalling Kshs 9.2 billion. The Deputy Prime Minister initially defended the budget that had been passed but later admitted that there were computer or typographical errors in budget bill. An investigation by the CID and a parliamentary committee was ordered by the Speaker, to question him on the discrepancies.[37] He was later cleared of any wrongdoing by the Joint Finance and Budgetary Committee on the issue.[38]

ICC charges related to 2007–08 post-election violence[edit]

On 15 December 2010, Kenyatta was named as a suspect of crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo, for planning and funding violence in Naivasha and Nakuru.[39] This was in relation to the violence that followed the bungled national elections in Kenya of December 2007. He has been accused of organising a Kikuyu politico-religious group, the Mungiki, in the post-election violence. Overall, the post-election violence of 2007 is said to have claimed about 1300 lives. Uhuru maintains his innocence and wants his name cleared. On 8 March 2011, he was indicted after being summoned to appear before the ICC pre-trial chamber. He was to appear at The Hague on 8 April 2011 alongside 5 other suspects.[40] On 29 September 2011, while seeking to exonerate himself, Uhuru Kenyatta put up a spirited fight as he was being cross-examined by ICC Chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo in the Hague, denying any links with the outlawed Mungiki sect. He said Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga should take political responsibility for the acts of violence and killings that followed the 2007 presidential elections in Kenya. He told the three judges that "by telling his supporters election results were being rigged, fanned tensions and then failed to use his influence to quell the violence that followed the announcement of the 2007 presidential results."

Though Uhuru had previously dismissed ICC summons,[41] he changed his decision along the way. Together with his two other co-accused suspects, Head of Civil Servant, Ambassador Francis Muthaura and former Police Commissioner Hussein Ali, the trio honoured the ICC Summons that sought to determine whether their cases met the set standards for international trials.[42] On 23 January 2012, the ICC confirmed the cases against Kenyatta and Muthaura although the charges against Muthaura were recently dropped.[36] Serious concerns about the case have been raised, particularly the nature of the evidence being used against Kenyatta. There are also serious concerns about witness tampering and indeed, a number of witnesses have disappeared or died,[43] which is the reason cited by the ICC for dropping charges against Mathaura.[44] On 12 October 2013 he made a speech to the African Union in which he accused the ICC of being a toy of declining imperial powers [45]

On 31 October 2013, the ICC postponed Kenyatta's trial for crimes against humanity by three months until 5 February 2014 after the defense had requested more time.[46]

On 8 October 2014, Kenyatta appeared before the ICC in The Hague. He was the first serving head of state to come before the ICC. He was called to appear at the ICC "status conference" when the prosecution said evidence needed to go ahead with a trial was being withheld. In a speech to the Kenyan parliament Kenyatta said that he was going to The Hague in a personal capacity - not as president of the country - so as not to compromise the sovereignty of Kenyans. Kenyatta did not speak in court, but denied the charges in comments to journalists as he left the court to catch a flight back home. "We as Kenyans, we know where we came from, we know where we are going, and nobody will tell us what to do," he said. The judges adjourned the hearings and were expected to make a decision about the trial's future before the end of the year.[47][48]

On 5 December 2014, prosecutors at the ICC withdrew the charges. The prosecutor's office said that the Kenyan government had refused to hand over evidence vital to the case. Kenyatta said that he felt "vindicated". Kenyatta said on Twitter that he was "excited" by the prosecutor's decision. "My conscience is absolutely clear," he said, adding in another message that his case had been "rushed there without proper investigation".[49]

Prosecutors had been seeking additional time to collect evidence against the Kenyan leader and accused his government of bribing and intimidating witnesses. This charge was echoed in a statement issued by the ICC prosecutor: "The Kenyan Government's noncompliance has not only compromised the prosecution's ability to thoroughly investigate the charges but has ultimately impinged upon the chamber's ability to fulfill its mandate."

The National Alliance Party (TNA)[edit]

On 20 May 2012, Uhuru Kenyatta attended the elaborately assembled and much-publicised launch of The National Alliance party in a modern high-tech dome at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre. His presence at the TNA launch was a strong indication that he would contest for the party's presidential nomination ticket in his quest for Kenya's Presidency in the 2013 General Elections.

Kenya's Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Eugene Wamalwa and Eldoret North Constituency MP William Ruto led more than 70 MPs in attending the function. Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly, Mr. Abdi Ramadhan, Cabinet Ministers Mohamed Yusuf Haji, Jamleck Irungu Kamau, Dr. Naomi Shaaban, Samuel Poghisio, Professor Sam Ongeri and Dr. Mohammed Kuti and MPs Charles Cheruiyot Keter, Aden Bare Duale and Mohamed Maalim Mohamud also attended the event.

Speeches at the launch revolved around the need for a thriving economy, the need for the rights of people of all classes in society to be championed, the need for peaceful co-existence, the need for visionary and committed leadership, the need for transformative leadership, the need for a youthful crop of committed professionals in leadership, the need for free and fair nomination and election processes in the General Election, the need for an economically empowered youth and a call to bring an end to divisive and sectarian interests in politics to safeguard Kenya from sliding to dictatorship.[50] Machel Waikenda was the director of communications and secretary of arts and entertainment of the The National Alliance, from April 2012 to August 2013 and he led the media and communications department of the party during the 2013 elections.[51]

By-elections (17 September 2012)[edit]

On 17 September 2012, The National Alliance (Kenya) party had its first real test when it contested various civic and parliamentary positions in a by-election that covered 17 seats in total; 3 parliamentary and 14 civic. Overall, 133,054 votes were cast in the by-elections and TNA led the pack after it garnered 38.89% or 51,878 votes, followed by Orange Democratic Movement with 33.7% or 44,837 votes, Party of National Unity (Kenya) with 4.46% or 5,929 votes, Wiper Democratic Movement with 4.44% or 5,912 votes and United Democratic Forum (Kenya) with 4.15% or 5,520 votes.

TNA won civic and parliamentary seats in 7 different counties while its closest challengers, ODM won seats in 4 counties.[52] The National Alliance Party remained a strong contender for the following year's general elections, having received major defections from other big political parties of Kenya. The successful election of TNA's main candidates (Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto) continue to enhance TNA's viability.

In January 2015, however,TNA merged with URP to form The Jubilee Alliance Party JAP.

2013 presidential elections[edit]

Uhuru Kenyatta

Uhuru Kenyatta's party, The National Alliance (Kenya) (TNA) joined William Ruto's United Republican Party (URP), Najib Balala's Republican Congress Party (RCP) and Charity Ngilu's National Rainbow Coalition party to form the Jubilee Alliance coalition. Various opinion polls prior to the election placed Uhuru as one of the main contenders, and his Jubilee Alliance as among the most popular. The other formidable coalition was the Coalition For Reform and Democracy (CORD), led by Raila Odinga.

However, Uhuru Kenyatta was officially declared the president elect on Saturday 9 March at 2:44pm.[53][54][55][56]

As per the IEBC's official results, Uhuru got 6,173,433 of the 12,221,053 valid votes cast ahead of the second placed Raila Odinga who garnered 5,340,546 (43.7%). Uhuru's result was 50.51% of the vote and was above the 50% plus 1 vote threshold set out in the 2010 constitution, thus making him the president-elect.[57]

Uhuru Kenyatta waving to Kenyans after being announced the winner of the 2013 Kenyan Presidential Election

Results dispute[edit]

There was some discontent with the official results, as would be expected in such a hotly contested election especially in Raila Odinga's strongholds. The inordinate delay[citation needed] in releasing the results and the technical failure of some safeguards and election equipment deployed by the IEBC did not help the perception that the election had been less than free and fair.[58]

Further, an exit poll conducted by UCSD Professor Clark Gibson and James Long, Asst. Prof. and University of Washington suggested that neither Odinga nor Kenyatta had attained the 50% plus one vote threshold.[59] Analysts[who?] have contended that even though elections for five other levels were held in Kenya at the same time, their national turnout levels and total vote tallies were about 16% less than the presidential total; e.g. while 10.6 million voters elected candidates for member of the national assembly, the senate and the 47 gubernatorial seats, almost 2 million more voted in the presidential election. This has fueled concern and speculations of vote manipulation in President Kenyatta's favour.[citation needed]

Two groups disputed these results and filed petitions challenging various aspects of it at the Supreme Court of Kenya to contest the result. The groups were the Coalition For Reform and Democracy, CORD, led by Raila Odinga, and the Africa Centre for Open Governance (AFRICOG). Uhuru Kenyatta and his running mate were respondents in these cases and was represented by renown Lawyers Fred Ngatia and Katwa Kigen respectively.

Supreme Court ruling[edit]

The Supreme court judges unanimously upheld the election of Uhuru Kenyatta as Kenya’s fourth president after rejecting Raila Odinga's petition in a verdict delivered Saturday 30 March 2013. Chief Justice Willy Mutunga in his ruling said the elections were indeed conducted in compliance with the Constitution and the law.[60]

U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, in the Blue Room during a U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit dinner at the White House, Aug. 5, 2014.

Presidential swearing-in[edit]

After the supreme court dismissed the petitions the swearing in ceremony was held on 9 April 2013 at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, Nairobi, in accordance to Article 141 (2) (b) of the constitution which stipulates that in case the Supreme Court upholds the victory of the president-elect, the swearing in will take place on "the first Tuesday following the seventh day following the date on which the court renders a decision declaring the election to be valid".[61]

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti, and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia to discuss the situation in South Sudan at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on August 5, 2014


Presidential Standard of Uhuru Kenyatta

During his inaugural speech, Uhuru promised economic transformation through Vision 2030, unity among all Kenyans, free maternal care and that he will serve all Kenyans. He also promised to improve the standards of education in Kenya. During the Madaraka day Celebrations, a National holiday celebrated to mark Kenyan gain of independence on 1 June, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced free maternal care in all public health facilities, a move that was welcomed by many Kenyans.[62][63][64]

Major Development Projects[edit]

President Kenyatta has launched several major development projects in Kenya including the world's largest Geothermal power plant[65] at Olkaria. The plant is expected to bring down power costs in Kenya by 30%. The President, together with other East Africaleaders, also launched the Standard GaugeRailway running from Mombasa to Uganda, South Sudan and Rwanda.[66] President Kenyatta made a key campaign promise to provide all children joining Primary school with laptops.[67] 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.[68]

Economic Growth[edit]

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.[69] 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.[70] 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 resilient 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 IMF, and the overall assessment on debt sustainability and other indicators was found to be positive [71] and IMF lauded Kenyatta's economic polices.[72] Poverty levels in the country have dropped but are still considerably high with 42% living below the poverty line.[73]


President Kenyatta's performance on security matters is considered poor.[74] The Westgate attack in September 2013, the killing of security officers in Baringo and the Mpeketoni attack occurred during his reign, in addition to several minor grenade attacks. Crime levels levels remain high in the country. President Kenyatta has decided to continue Operation Linda Nchi, a military operation in neighbouring Somalia to flush out the Al-Shabaab (militant group). The group has in return launched several terror attacks in Kenya. The operation was started by the previous administration of President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga. The former premier, now opposition leader, has criticized the continued operation as unnecessary.[75]

Other challenges[edit]

His major challenge has been high cost of living, rising public debt, and a high public wage bill.[76]

Foreign Relations[edit]

The President's foreign relations have been dominated by the ICC question.[77] His relations with the West were expected to be cold more so after the West warned Kenyans not to elect him as president.[78] The United Kingdom promised to have only essential contacts with him if he was elected.[79] However, his relationship with the West has thawed significantly and he has participated in the US - Africa summit[80] as well as a Somalia summit in the United Kingdom.[81] The ICC has however accused his government of frustrating their investigation efforts into his case.[82] The ICC has however absolved the President of any involvement in the frustration.[83]

His activities have however been more robust at the Africa level where he has pushed more intra-Africa trade and economic independence of African nations.[84] In November 2014, he launched consultations to reform the Security Council to expand the voice of Africa in the Council.[85] He has successfully rallied the AU against the ICC culminating in an Extraordinary Summit of the African Heads of State which resolved that sitting African Heads of State should not appear before the ICC.[86] The AU further asked the Security Council to suspend his trial at the ICC; for the first time ever, the Security Council resolution was defeated by abstention with 9 members of the Council abstaining rather than voting against so as not to offend Kenyatta.[87] The Assembly of State Parties of the ICC would two days later amend the ICC statute to allow for one to appear by video link, a proposal President Kenyatta had made when he was Deputy Prime Minister.[88]

President Kenyatta has led and negotiated peace agreements in the South Sudan[89] and in the Democratic Republic of Congo.[90] At the East African level, he has developed a close relationship with the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Rwanda President Paul Kagame, creating the Coalition of the Willing, a caucus within the EAC[91] that has signed on to more joint development and economic agreements than the other EAC partners, including a joint tourist visa.

He attended the funeral of Nelson Mandela and was received warmly by the crowds.[92] He also attended the funeral of President Michael Sata of Zambia in November 2014. However, it had been perceived that his administration's relations with Botswana were strained due to Botswana's support of the ICC process. He has since visited Botswana to remove this perception and Botswana voted in favour of the AU's ICC Resolution.[93]

As expected, he has remained close to China which is funding most of his infrastructural projects.[94]

President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta with the British Foreign Secretary William Hague at an international conference in London (May 2013)

Approval ratings[edit]

His government's first year in office received low ratings from the general public. This is after a poll done by Synovate Kenya indicated that more than half of the population were 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, Netherlands for his ICC case in October 2014, his poll ratings improved to 71%, according to a poll by the same Pollster Ipsos Synovate.[95] The Synovate poll was however been criticized for not giving a regional breakdown of the sample group.[96] 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.[97] President Uhuru Kenyatta was voted Africa’s President of the year 2014-2015 for his outstanding leadership by the members of the All-Africa Students Union (AASU) which is based in Accra, Ghana.[98]

Hosting Global Entrepreneurship Summit

On 25 July 2015, President Kenyatta co-hosted the 6th Global Entrepreneurship Summit together with President Obama which was held in Nairobi. Obama became the first sitting US president to visit Kenya. He was applauded by many Kenyans for his stand on gay rights by referring the issue as non-issue to Kenyans who had some other matters of priority.[99]

Family and personal life[edit]

See also: Kenyatta family

Uhuru Kenyatta is the son of Jomo Kenyatta, the first President of Kenya. He is married to Margaret Gakuo Kenyatta. They have three children, Jomo, Jaba, Ngina


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External links[edit]

Political offices
New office Deputy Prime Minister of Kenya
Succeeded by
Position abolished
Preceded by
Mwai Kibaki
President of Kenya