(Xinhua) -- President Uhuru Kenyatta has
moved to shut political debate on his succession, with
analysts noting ending the discussion would give him
space to deliver his campaign promises.
Kenyatta, who is serving his second
and final time, on Thursday told off leaders engaging in
early 2022 campaigns and those pushing for him to have a
role after he retires.
“Kenya held two elections in 2017,
people are tired of continuous politics. What they want
are development and services. Sit down and work,”
Kenyatta told leaders in Nyeri.
“Some people think that I am not
engaging in politics because I’m serving my last term.
When the right time comes, I will have a word to say on
my successor,” Kenyatta said.
Debate, spearheaded by leaders from
his central Kenya backyard, has been raging in the last
weeks on what role the president should play after 2022
Some leaders have suggested that the
constitution be changed so that he becomes a prime
minister. Others have been pushing him to name his
deputy president as his preferred successor.
This debate, according to Kenyatta, is
derailing his development agenda as he seeks to leave a
legacy in 2022.
Having made peace with opposition
leader Raila Odinga following divisive polls in 2017,
Kenyatta has focused on his Big Agenda Four, which he
announced soon after his re-election. The agenda focuses
on provision of universal health, housing, food security
William Kabogo, a former governor and
a ruling Jubilee party politician, reckoned that
politicians engaging in succession politics are keen on
“That agenda on Kenyatta taking up
position after 2022 is inconsequential as he has said he
would retire after his second term in office,” he said.
Opposition Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jnr
believes those calling for role of Kenyatta post 2022
are pushing for constitutional changes.
“It is good the president has refused
this overtures and let him create a legacy by leaving
power after his term,” he said.
Jared Okello, a political analyst
noted that Kenyatta is barely one year into his second
term thus debate on his successor is premature.
“Talk of succession is diversionary
and uncalled for. It should end as he directed,” he
Henry Wandera, an economics lecturer
in Nairobi, noted that the scolding of leaders by
Kenyatta was timely.
“The president has been quiet for some
time as the debate rages and it was time to assert his
authority and extinguish it. The talk was raising
political temperatures in the country,” he said.
He observed that succession politics
is very emotive. Therefore, it may fuel ethnic tensions.
“Kenya is a highly ethnicized country
and this debate was pushing the president into a corner.
Those leaders who were asking him to have a role after
his retirement may fuel tension in areas where his
deputy come from as that may mean they are keen to
shortchange the heir apparent,” he said.
But Wandera noted the debate would not
end. “It would go under for weeks and then resurface as
it happened before,” he said.