December 6, 2022

Uhuru Kenyatta – Son of Kenya’s first President raised in a wealthy and powerful family completes his last term in office

President Uhuru Kenyatta at a past interview event. [Source:Uhuru Kenyatta:Facebook]
President Uhuru Kenyatta

Uhuru Kenyatta has served as the President of Kenya since 2013. His second and final term will come to an end after the general election in August 2022.

President Joseph R. Biden Jr. hosts President Uhuru Kenyatta at the Oval Office of the White House on Thursday, October 14, 2021. Official White House photograph

Kenyatta has indicated that he will honor the two term limit put in place by Kenya’s constitution, raising eyebrows by endorsing his former political rival Raila Odinga as his successor.

Uhuru Kenyatta’s presidential agenda has focused largely on the prioritization of economic growth, anti-corruption, and the fight against terorism.

Uhuru, the son of Kenya’s first President Jomo Kenyatta, was raised in a wealthy and powerful family. As a young adult, Uhuru went to college in the United States. At Amherst College in Massachusetts, he studied political science and economics.

Upon returning to Kenya, Kenyatta became a successful businessman and grew increasingly politically active before following in his father’s footsteps by running for governmental office. Kenyatta has held numerous governmental positions including a seat in parliament, Minister of Finance, Deputy Prime Minister, and eventually President.

He has been affiliated with the  Kenyan African National Union, National Alliance, and Jubilee Party.

Upon being elected to the presidency in 2013, Kenyatta received very little support from the United States and its Western allies. At the time, Kenyatta was facing five charges of crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court. He was accused of being involved with murder, deportation or forcible transfer of population, rape, persecution, and other inhumane acts.

These charges were all in the context of the nationwide violence that occurred for months following the 2007 election. The charges were dropped in 2015.

When President Uhuru Kenyatta was re-elected in 2017, he faced harsh criticism about the legitimacy of his presidency. The election was disputed and its results were annulled by the Supreme Court. A rerun was held but was boycotted by Kenyatta’s main opposition, Odinga, due to criticism surrounding the lack of election reform.

United States Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken meets with President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya in Nairobi on his first official trip to the East African nation, on Wednesday, November 17, 2021.

Kenyatta has publicly communicated a firm anti-corruption stance. In 2018, he said that nobody in Kenya is immune from facing corruption charges. In recent years, corruption has been a pervasive issue and many Kenyan officials have been arrested or removed from office after being implicated in scandals.

However, it was revealed in 2021 that President Uhuru Kenyatta and his family had over $30 million in assets stored in offshore companies and entities. While publicly encouraging transparency and condemning corruption, Kenyatta was secretly building up wealth through hidden means.

Under Uhuru Kenyatta’s presidency, Kenya has maintained a solid diplomatic relationship with the United States. He visited the White House for a meeting with U.S. President Joseph R. Biden in 2021, saying “During this very difficult time, the United States has done its best to step up in terms of not only helping Kenya, but the African continent in general, with regard to access to vaccines.”

Kenya also has a very close relationship with China, which funds most of its infrastructure projects.

As Kenyatta approaches the end of his second 5-year term, he is just 60 years old. The Kenyan Supreme Court recently blocked constitutional changes proposed by Kenyatta that would have dramatically expanded the executive and parliament.

This proposal combined with Kenyatta’s recent partnership with long-time adversary Raila Odinga has caused many to speculate that he may be conceiving a way to stay in power, such as the re-establishment of the prime minister position that was abolished in 2013.

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