Uhuru Kenyatta, Biography, Family & Wealth

Uhuru Kenyatta, Biography, Family & Wealth

Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta is a businessman and the fourth(current) President of the Republic of Kenya. Born on 26th of October 1961, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta has held several government posts before being elected President of Kenya in 2013 and was reelected in 2017.

Uhuru Kenyatta Profile
His Excellency,
Uhuru Kenyatta C.G.H.
President of Kenya
4th President of Kenya
Incumbent
Assumed office
9 April 2013
DeputyWilliam Ruto
Preceded byMwai Kibaki
Deputy Prime Minister of Kenya
In-office
13 April 2008 – 9 April 2013

Serving with Musalia Mudavadi
PresidentMwai Kibaki
Prime MinisterRaila Odinga
Minister of Finance
In-office
23 January 2009 – 26 January 2012
Prime MinisterRaila Odinga
Preceded byJohn Michuki
Succeeded byRobinson Njeru Githae
Leader of the Opposition
In-office
1 January 2003 – 9 April 2013
Preceded byMwai Kibaki
Succeeded byRaila Odinga
Member of Parliament
for Gatundu South
In-office
1 January 2003 – 1 January 2013
Preceded byMoses Mwihia
Succeeded byJossy Ngugi
Personal details
Born26 October 1961(age 58)
Nairobi, Kenya Colony
Political partyKenya African National Union(Before 2012)
National Alliance(2012–2016)
Jubilee (2016–present)
Other political
affiliations
Jubilee Alliance(2013–present)
Spouse(s)
Margaret Gakuo(m. 1991)
Children3
RelativesJomo Kenyatta(father) Ngina Kenyatta (mother)Muhoho Kenyatta(brother)
Alma materAmherst College
Signature
WebsiteGovernment website

 

Early Life

Uhuru Kenyata is the son of Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya’s first president, he was raised in a wealthy and politically powerful Kikuyu family. He attended St. Mary’s School in Nairobi, where he played as a winger for the school’s rugby team. He then went on to study political science and economics at Amherst College in Massachusetts. After his return to Kenya, he started a horticultural business that became quite successful. He also assumed some responsibility for managing his family’s extensive business holdings.

Political life

In the 1997 general election, Uhuru Kenyatta contested the Gatundu South Constituency parliamentary seat, once held by his father, but lost to Moses Mwihia, a Nairobi architect.

In 1999, Moi appointed Uhuru to chair the Kenya Tourism Board, a government parastatal. He was nominated to parliament in 2001 and subsequently appointed to the cabinet as Minister for Local Government. Following this, he was elected as one of the four national vice-chairmen of KANU in the same year.

In 2001, he was nominated as a Member of Parliament, and he joined the Cabinet as Minister for Local Government. He would also later be elected First Vice Chairman of KANU

In 2002 Moi influenced Uhuru Kenyatta’s nomination as KANU’s preferred presidential candidate, sparking an outcry from other interested contenders and a massive exit from the party. This move by Moi was seen as a ploy to install Uhuru as a puppet so that even in retirement, Moi would still rule the country through Uhuru and presumably insulate himself against charges of abuse of office that plagued his presidency.

Uhuru finished second to Mwai Kibaki in the General Elections, with 31% of the vote. He conceded defeat and took up an active leadership role as Leader of the Opposition. His Excellency, Uhuru Kenyatta several other positions of leadership in Kenya before winning the presidency in 2013.

ICC Charges & Political Rise

On 15 December 2010, prior to him becoming president, Kenyatta was named as a suspect of crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo, for planning and funding violence in Naivasha and Nakuru.[56] This was in relation to the violence that followed the bungled national elections of December 2007. In furtherance of his political support for Kibaki’s PNU at the time, he was 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 maintained his innocence and wanted his name cleared. On 8 March 2011, while serving as a minister in Kibaki’s government, 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 five other suspects. 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 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 Kenyatta had previously dismissed ICC summons, he changed his decision along the way. Together with his two other co-accused suspects, Head of Civil Service, 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. On 23 January 2012, the ICC confirmed the cases against Kenyatta and Muthaura although the charges against Muthaura were subsequently dropped. 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, which is the reason cited by the ICC for dropping charges against Mathaura. On a 12 October 2013 speech to the African Union in which he set a belligerent tone, Uhuru accused the ICC of being “a toy of declining imperial powers”.

On 31 October 2013, the ICC postponed Kenyatta’s trial for crimes against humanity by three months until 5 February 2014 after the defence had requested more time. Luckily for him, the case was dropped on 13 March 2015 after several sittings and proceeding.

Presidency

The ICC charges did not dissuade Kenyatta from once again pursuing his aspirations for the presidency. Kenyatta and KANU parted ways in April 2012, and the next month Kenyatta launched a new party, The National Alliance (TNA). Later that year he and TNA became part of a multiparty alliance known as the Jubilee Coalition, which also included one of the other ICC suspects, William Ruto, and his United Republican Party. Kenyatta and Ruto campaigned together for the posts of president and vice president, respectively. In light of the ICC proceedings, the eligibility of the two men to stand in the election was called into question by some, but in February 2013 the High Court of Kenya dismissed a case that sought to bar them from standing. Kenyatta went on to win the presidential election in the first round of voting, held on March 4, 2013, squeaking by with 50.07 per cent of the vote. His nearest challenger was Odinga, who garnered 43.31 per cent. Odinga did not at first concede. Citing what he deemed irregularities with the election, he filed a challenge to the results with Kenya’s Supreme Court. The court later upheld the election results, and Odinga conceded. Kenyatta was sworn in as president on April 9, 2013.

Kenyatta had an estimated net worth of $500 million, before 2013, making him one of Kenya’s richest citizens. Among his family’s considerable business holdings were ventured in the areas of media, banking, tourism, insurance, and dairy. He and his family also owned more than 500,000 acres of land in Kenya, much of which had been acquired by his father during a postcolonial land-transfer program. Their real estate holdings made the family one of the largest landowners in a country where land ownership disputes were a long-standing source of resentment among people whose families had been displaced during the colonial era.

As President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta had to deal with the increasing threat from al-Shabaab, an Islamic militant group based in neighbouring Somalia and angered over Kenya’s military involvement against them in that country. In retaliation, the group launched a number of deadly attacks on Kenyan soil. Domestically, Kenyatta presided over the implementation of a new government administrative unit of counties, which replaced the previous unit of provinces, as well as fielded complaints of poor government, corruption, and insecurity.

Kenyatta continued to face charges at the ICC. Although the trial of his vice president, Ruto, began in September 2013, Kenyatta’s trial was repeatedly delayed. The defence claimed that there was not a strong enough case against him and that the charges should be dropped, while the prosecution complained of a lack of cooperation from Kenyan officials in gathering evidence. In December 2014 the ICC prosecution dropped all charges against Kenyatta, claiming that the Kenyan government had obstructed the ICC in the gathering of critical evidence and citing the widespread intimidation of its witnesses, both of which had hampered the prosecution’s case. ICC judges formally approved the withdrawal of charges and terminated the case proceedings in March 2015. They noted, however, that ICC prosecutors could reinstate charges at any time if there was evidence to support such a course of action.

In preparation for the 2017 elections, the parties that constituted Kenyatta’s Jubilee Coalition dissolved and then re-formed as one political organization, the Jubilee Party, in September 2016. Kenyatta was the flag bearer for the new party, with Ruto again serving as his running mate. On August 8, 2017, presidential election, Kenyatta was reelected with more than 54 per cent of the vote. His nearest challenger was again Odinga—this time representing a coalition of opposition parties called the National Super Alliance (NASA)—who trailed him with about 45 per cent.

In a stunning turn of events, however, Kenyatta’s reelection was overturned on September 1 when the Supreme Court nullified the results of the presidential poll and ordered a new election, which was to be held within 60 days. The ruling was in response to a petition that Odinga and NASA had filed with the court, alleging that the results of the presidential election had been manipulated and were therefore compromised and should be nullified. Kenyatta, although initially saying that he disagreed with the ruling but would respect it, soon had harsh words for the judges involved in the decision, calling them crooks and referring to them as a problem that he would fix after his reelection.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) scheduled the date of the new election for October 17, but, after the Supreme Court released its detailed ruling on September 20 regarding the specific reasons why it had annulled the August presidential election, the IEBC pushed the date back to October 26 in order to provide the commission with more time to address the shortcomings cited by the court. The ruling criticized the conduct of the IEBC and noted many concerns with the vote tallying and transmission process cited by NASA that the judges felt had affected the validity of the election.

As the October 26 poll date grew closer, tensions rose in the country. Uhuru Kenyatta and Ruto campaigned for the upcoming election while NASA and Odinga pressed the IBEC to make what they deemed necessary changes to ensure that a credible election could be conducted; they also held regular demonstrations to show support for making the aforementioned changes. The IEBC said that some of the requested changes had occurred but that others were not possible, given the time constraints and other limitations affecting the commission’s work. Meanwhile, Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party quickly passed a bill with two controversial election-related amendments in the National Assembly and sent it to Kenyatta to sign into law. The amendments, which were criticized by NASA and others, included measures such as limiting the judiciary’s ability to void an election and allowing a candidate to automatically be declared the winner of a contested post if the other candidate withdrew from an election. Although Kenyatta never signed the amendments bill, it automatically became law in November.

Uncertainty regarding the upcoming presidential poll spiked on October 10, when Odinga withdrew from it. Although Odinga believed that the IEBC would now need to abandon the poll and call for fresh elections to be held in 90 days, Kenyatta insisted that the presidential election would take place on October 26 as scheduled, with the IEBC appearing to agree with him. The future of the election grew more uncertain when, a week later, an IEBC member fled the country and resigned from the commission after receiving threats to her life. She claimed that there was no way for the IEBC to provide a credible election under the current circumstances, an assessment with which the head of the IEBC later agreed. A last-minute petition to the Supreme Court attempting to halt the poll failed when not enough of the court’s justices showed up for the hearing. Nonetheless, the election proceeded on October 26 as planned. Kenyatta won handily, taking about 98 per cent of the vote. His victory, however, was clouded by the circumstances surrounding the election: Odinga’s withdrawal, a call by NASA for Kenyans to boycott the poll, and the fact that voting was unable to take place in some NASA-dominated areas for security reasons—all of which led to a low turnout that was less than half that of the August election.

October poll was challenged in the supreme court by it was dismissed and he was sworn in as President of Kenya, the second time on November 28th 2017

 

Sources:

Wikipedia  & Britannica

 

 

 

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