Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has said that he will never seek to change his country’s constitution to extend his stay in power beyond 2022.
Kenyatta’s tenure ends in 2022 and there are reports of a possibility of a change to the constitution so he occupies a prime minister position if created.
But the Kenyan leader has ruled that out saying seeking a change to the constitution to seal a third presidential term will not happen.
There is a constitutional reform currently under consideration in Kenya through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).
Some local activists had pushed through the narrative that President Kenyatta would consider a political position post 2022, if the BBI is passed.
He told France 24 television on Thursday that “I would rather come and enjoy a holiday in France every summer than seek any other political position after my term ends.”
Relations with deputy
The Kenyan president has also been commenting on the relationship between him and his Deputy President William Ruto.
There are reports in Kenya that he doesn’t support Ruto’s ambition to seek the presidency.
But President Kenyatta warned that now was not the time to campaign for the 2022 presidential election but instead to work to improve inclusiveness by reaching out to the opposition.
“I have always maintained that we have an agenda as a government that we want to complete. We are two years from an election, and this is not the time to start campaigning.”
He also explained why he decided to make peace with his long-time political rival, Raila Odinga after the previously held election.
Handshake with Odinga
Both men were seen in a famous handshake to express their desire to make peace.
The president said the handshake was meant to help the political class agree on the issues that divide them, giving Kenyans an opportunity in future to choose a leader and have a system that is inclusive, with acceptable election results.
Kenyatta said “Of course there are some who feel that this reaching out is meant to sideline to Dr Ruto. There is nothing more to the contrary.”
“So, anybody therefore who is going against that… I don’t say he (Dr Ruto) is going against this… but my prayer is that especially those in my political party would work with me to help me achieve this for Kenya, and our people. I am hopeful that we shall work together towards this, even with my deputy,” he said.
Kenyatta added that “My commitment is to this handshake process… Peace, stability, prosperity for the Kenyan people. That is my priority. Once we are over that, and start talking about elective position, you can ask me that question of supporting Dr Ruto”.