Kisumu Governor Anyang Nyong’o has hinted that President Uhuru Kenyatta could still be in active politics after 2022 elections.
Nyong’o, a political scientist, told First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, who had visited the county, to tell the President “Kenyans are waiting for him to present his nomination papers again”.
“In 2007, when I was the ODM secretary general, Kenyans waited to see the President present his nomination papers but he never did as the rest presented theirs,” Nyong’o said.
He added: “Kenyans were hoping that President Kenyatta would run but he held back.
“The presidential election was then reduced to a two-horse race between the incumbent Mwai Kibaki, who was running on PNU ticket and Raila Odinga of ODM.”
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Constitutionally, the President is supposed to leave office after serving two five-year terms.
So far, President Kenyatta, who took over from Kibaki in 2013 before winning another term last year, has indicated that he is not interested in another term.
However, pundits say this could change as we head into the 2022 General Election and changes are made to the Constitution.
Nyong’o also asked the First Lady to think about her Beyond Zero campaigns beyond 2022. “We will still need your services,” the governor said.
He also praised the March 9 handshake between Uhuru and Raila, noting it brought peace to a country that had been rocked by animosity following last year’s presidential election result.
Nyong’o recalled how, in 2007, Raila succeeded in creating a wider base of support by building a coalition with regional leaders from the Luhya in Western, Kalenjin from the Rift Valley and Muslim leaders from the coastal region before running for presidency.
“But after Kenyans went to the ballot, retired President Kibaki was declared the winner with 46 per cent of the votes and was consequently sworn in,” he said.
He added: “However, Raila also claimed victory and civil unrest broke out resulting in the deaths of hundreds people and displacement of over 600,000 others. This birthed the National Accord and Reconciliation Act, which led to Raila’s appointment as prime minister.”
Mrs Kenyata was in Kisumu to launch elimination of mother-to-child transmission (eMTCT) campaign.
Mozambique’s First Lady Isaura Nyusi was also present.
Hundreds of residents turned up for a free medical camp Mrs Kenyatta had organised.