I'll leave office in 2022, Uhuru tells CNN, defends Chinese loans

President Uhuru Kenyatta with his ADC and a US embassy official during the unveiling of the maiden non-stop US flight at JKIA on Sunday, October 28, 2018. /PSCU
President Uhuru Kenyatta with his ADC and a US embassy official during the unveiling of the maiden non-stop US flight at JKIA on Sunday, October 28, 2018. /PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta has maintained he is not interested in extending his tenure after his term expires in 2022.

He told CNN in an interview that he would not take another stab at the presidency, even if granted the chance to do so.

The Head of State was responding to CNN's Richard Quest in a question regarding plans to change the Constitution.

"I'm not interested in serving another term. I will not take up the chance even if everyone wanted me to."

"I am not seeking to change the Constitution to cling unto power," Uhuru said.

There is an ongoing national debate on whether the country would hold a referendum to change the structure of government.

The conversation has sparked speculation of a plan to have Uhuru stay in the helm after the changes. He denied the claims.

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Uhuru said he is keen to steer the country to achieve its development agenda hampered by the chaotic 2017 general elections.

The president reiterated his commitment to save Kenya from the "cyclic chaotic events staged anytime there is an election."

"Kenya is always a gentle and loving country except for when there is an election. This is the belief we are trying to come out of," he said.

"As we strive to work and partner with our brothers in the opposition our main focus is to put Kenya first."

The Head of State further defended the country's relations with China saying measures are in place to control foreign debt.

He also dismissed claims that Kenya is over-borrowing

from China adding that the State gets funds from other nations as well.

Uhuru cited the US, African Development Bank, France's AfD, Japan, and the World Bank as some of the partners.

"I am not worried about us borrowing, my only worry would be if that debt goes to interfere with our current expenditure," he said.

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"Our focus for now is to close the infrastructure gap in terms of roads and railway lines while creating businesses and employment for our youth."

Uhuru said:

"We are familiar with all arguments about China and their loans, but why focus only on one lender when we have a mix of lenders like Japan, France and USA?"

He said Kenya is ready and willing to partner with any country that will help

it achieve its development agenda.

Still on politics, the president said:

"We don’t always have to agree on everything as leaders but we can all agree to put Kenya first."

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