Jomo Kenyatta was the first president of the Republic of Kenya. Largely considered as the Father of Modern Kenya, Kenyatta was instrumental in securing independence for Kenya (formerly British East...
Tagged: Uhuru Kenyatta
Born on 26th October 1961, Uhuru Kenyatta is the son of Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya’s first President and a key figure in the nation’s struggle for independence. With a lineage tied to the birth of the Kenyan nation, Uhuru was exposed to politics and leadership from an early age. He pursued his education overseas, earning a degree in economics and political science from Amherst College in the United States.
After returning to Kenya, Kenyatta held various governmental positions, gradually ascending the political ladder. He served as Minister of Tourism and Wildlife from 2002 to 2007, during which he promoted Kenya as a top tourist destination.
In 2007, his political career faced a major challenge. Following the disputed presidential election of that year, which sparked widespread ethnic violence, Kenyatta was indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity, accused of funding and orchestrating violence. The charges were later dropped in 2014 due to lack of evidence.
Presidency: 9 April 2013 – 13 September 2022
Uhuru Kenyatta was elected as the fourth President of Kenya in 2013 and was re-elected for a second term in 2017. His presidency was marked by several key themes:
- Infrastructure Development: One of the hallmarks of Kenyatta’s leadership was an ambitious drive for infrastructural growth, most notably the Standard Gauge Railway connecting the port city of Mombasa to the capital, Nairobi.
- Healthcare and Education: Under his administration, there was a push for universal healthcare and free maternal health services. Efforts have also been made to improve access to education, with a transition to a new competency-based curriculum.
- Economic Policies: Kenyatta emphasized the “Big Four Agenda” in his second term, focusing on manufacturing, affordable housing, universal healthcare, and food security.
- International Relations: Kenyatta’s tenure saw Kenya enhance its diplomatic footprint, strengthening ties with both Eastern and Western nations. He particularly fostered close relations with China, resulting in significant Chinese investment in Kenyan infrastructure projects.
- Controversies: Despite the above achievements, Kenyatta’s presidency faced criticism. Allegations of corruption within his administration, human rights concerns, and claims of electoral irregularities during the 2017 elections have been points of contention.
As the son of the nation’s founding father, the weight of expectation always rested on Uhuru Kenyatta. His leadership saw significant infrastructural and economic development. Yet, challenges related to corruption, political divisions, and concerns about democratic integrity persist.