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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Analyzing the Uhuru Presidency

It is now over 8 months since the 4th President of the Republic of Kenya took office.

The President is today a very different person when you compare him to the easy-going smiling presidential candidate of last March. Indeed he started off by showing signs that he was going to change things drastically... for the better.

As he announced his cabinet appointments in shirt sleeves with the Deputy president looking on, it looked like Kenyans were going to be treated to a very different presidency. Today the outlook is not that positive. In fact it is increasingly looking like business as usual at State house with the latest bombshell being the appointment of Kenyans who use false teeth products.

To be fair to President Uhuru, what is happening to him is nothing new. Indeed all the three men before him in office were all very ordinary simple good men who were transformed into something very different by the presidency. 

His father Jomo Kenyatta was a humble teetotaller after publicly promising church elders in the 1920s that he would never touch alcohol again in his life. 30 years later there was evidence that Kenyatta not only kept his vow to the church but detested alcohol and strongly believed that the drinking of liquor was hindering the coming of independence for Kenya. However when Jomo landed at State house not only did he resume his drinking but he became the most feared president Kenya has ever had. A demi-god you would not dare dream of crossing if you valued your life.

Moi grew up walking extremely long distances to school and developed into a strong patient and tolerant man who could forgive almost anything. The presidency changed him into the ruthless dictator who straddled Kenya for 24 long years with no appetite for anything that was not domineering Kanu.

Emilio Stanley Mwai Kibaki was a staunch Catholic and brilliant economist who attracted the attention of the young Kanu party because of his educational background at a time when it was very rare for an African to have a high school education let alone be a university lecturer. This prompted Tom Mboya to drive from Nairobi all the way to Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda in an air cooled VW beetle to persuade Kibaki that his country needed him more than Makerere University did. Mboya is said to have come back
with Kibaki in the VW. Always the reluctant politician and determined to retain his dignity and stick to his principals, Kibaki became a very different person when he entered State House. Kenyans got a glimpse of the new Kibaki when elections 2007 came calling and he was not prepared to be a one term president, whatever the verdict of the voters was going to be. During the post election crisis of December 2007 and January 2008 that followed his nightime swearing in at State house a friend of mine was so shocked that he just kept on muttering under his breath…

"This is not Kibaki, this is not Kibaki," over and over again.

The easy going compassionate Uhuru is already rapidly changing into something else quite similar to his predecessors in office.

In my book Dark Secrets of the Kenyan Presidency I make a strong case for the office of the president to be done away with in our constitution and to be replaced by a strong parliamentary system. Get a FREE version of the book NOW

What are your views on this?

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