Passing of the guard

Kenya succession: The Kenyatta factor

By Son Gatitu

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Posted on February 24, 2022 13:51

African Union holds annual heads of state and government summit
Kenya’s former president Uhuru Kenyatta on February 6, 2022. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has declared his support for long-time opposition leader Raila Odinga’s preferred political vehicle ahead of the August presidential election.

The term-limited Kenyan leader’s announcement has caused ripples across the political landscape, forcing his deputy William Ruto to go on the warpath against his boss of nine years.

Now the question is what role Kenyatta will play in a country with a recent history of failed political endorsement by a retiring head of state.

When Kenyatta told a group of youth leaders at the presidential palace on 11 February that he was throwing his support behind Odinga, he was only confirming what had long been suspected.

For years, Ruto has been busy on the campaign trail, with various reports indicating he may not have attended any Cabinet meeting for more than a year. Reports abound of the president’s growing frustration at his deputy for taking credit for their Jubilee Party’s achievements while also criticising the government.

“Those who are peddling lies can’t change our achievements. Let us

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