The year when Uhuru shocked and surprised

President Uhuru Kenyatta gives his New Year Address to the Nation at State House, Mombasa. Photo/PSCU
President Uhuru Kenyatta gives his New Year Address to the Nation at State House, Mombasa. Photo/PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta was as surprising as he was confounding to both friend and foe throughout 2018.

The President, who had assumed a more authoritative and a quite firm hands-on leadership style, kept Kenyans guessing on his political and management moves.

From an amiable and easy-going leader in his 2013 – 2017 tenure to an abrasive President, Uhuru took the country by storm with most of his sudden decisions.

He held most press conferences alone without the company of the Deputy President William Ruto, a radical departure from the first year in office marked by camaraderie.

This sparked speculation of a falling-out with his deputy as Rift Valley leaders came out guns blazing accusing unnamed cabal of politicians at the office of the president of trying to block a Ruto presidency.

The President shocked the country when he said in Nyeri that his 2022 successor would shock the country, in what analysts said lifted the lid on Jubilee’s soft underbelly.

“They think because Uhuru is going home in 2022, he will not have a word on what will happen. I am telling them when the right time comes, I will have something to say,” the President said when he addressed residents after opening a newly built Karatina market.

The President made far-reaching changes at the Presidential Strategic Communication unit and hounded out of office a number of staff.

But the highlight was the appointment of former TV star Kanze Dena as his spokesperson after Manoa Esipisu was posted as ambassador to UK.

His merciless anti-graft crackdown targeting all spheres of government has been hailed as a masterstroke.

As the President kicked off the vicious crackdown on corruption, with high-profile arrests and prosecutions, his handshake with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga shocked the nation and the world as well.