Uhuru appoints Kalonzo as South Sudan peace envoy

In Summary

• The appointment comes at a time when Uhuru is hosting South Sudan President Salva Kiir who is in the country for a state visit.

• Uhuru hinted at the appointment in 2018 during the burial of Kalonzo's father in Kitui.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka in Kitui during the burial of the Wiper leader's father.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka in Kitui during the burial of the Wiper leader's father.
Image: FILE

President Uhuru Kenyatta has appointed Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka as Kenya's special envoy to South Sudan.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday in a statement that the former Vice-President will continue to lead peace efforts in Kenya's northern neighbour.

"The appointment is furtherance of Kenya's efforts towards shared prosperity in the region, in general, and to the pursuit of lasting peace and security in South Sudan," Foreign Affairs said in the statement.

 

Kalonzo is the second opposition leader that Uhuru has secured for a job in the region after Raila Odinga who is African Union special envoy for infrastructure.

The appointment comes at a time when Uhuru is hosting South Sudan President Salva Kiir who is in the country for a state visit.

During a state banquet on Monday, Uhuru appealed to the leadership of South Sudan to consolidate the peace dividend to accelerate the country’s social and economic growth.

With the 8th Anniversary of the independence of South Sudan just days away, Uhuru said the moment has come for the patriotic men and women of Africa’s youngest nation to secure their place in national, regional, continental and global arena.

“The leadership of South Sudan, across the entire spectrum, have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to forge for lasting peace that provides the internal stability and enabling environment for your country’s take-off, both economically and socially,” Uhuru told Kiir. 

The Star first revealed Kalonzo's pending appointment on November 10, 2018 a day after Uhuru hinted the same at the former Vice-President's home.

At the time, State House sources revealed that Uhuru was considering appointing Kalonzo as a special envoy to mediate in conflicts locally as well as outside the country where Kenya’s help will be required.

Speaking at the burial of Kalonzo’s father in Kitui, President Uhuru Kenyatta fell short of announcing the appointment.

“Nashukuru kuwa Raila (Odinga) amepewa kazi kule AU.... ataweza kuchangia huko na hiyo pesa nyingi si ataleta hapa kwetu tu? Kuna ubaya hapo wenzangu? (Loosely translated: I’m grateful that Raila has been given a job by AU...He will be able to contribute here and don’t you think he will bring some money to Kenya? Is that wrong my brothers?)," Uhuru said at the time.