- Nothing in the BBI process talks about extending the President’s term so Kenyans must reject those claims.
- The BBI process is about the unity of this country and ensuring that we establish structures for lasting peace.
A mountain was once greatly agitated. Loud groans and noises were heard, and crowds of people came from all parts to see what was the matter. While they were assembled in anxious expectation of some terrible calamity, out came a Mouse.
It is very possible to make so much ado about nothing and we have seen this with the claim that President Uhuru Kenyatta wants to extend his time in office. For us to understand the context, let us first remind ourselves of what the President has said about the matter.
“I can tell you, if there is one thing that Kenyans are very, very clear about, very clear about, is the two-term limit. The two term-limit Kenyans are very clear about and they have been clear about since 1992 when we introduced multipartism. And there’s been no single president [who] has broken that and I don’t intend to be the first.”
Those were the words of President Uhuru Kenyatta on June 18, 2020, a position he has repeated quite often in public. It is, therefore, unfortunate that there are politicos who have gone out of their way to put words into his mouth saying he wants another term.
Of late, there have been attempts by politicians to depict the President as one who is keen to hold on to power, and there is a narrative being created that the main intention of the Building Bridges Initiative is for him to extend his term or to take up the role of prime minister and replicate what happened in Russia.
During the 2013 election, I was then the director of communications of TNA and I remember clearly when the President, who was then the Deputy Prime Minister decided to put aside his own presidential ambitions to support Musalia Mudavadi for the seat.
Despite pleas from his supporters, he stuck to his decision and only changed it much later. This shows that the President is not keen to hold onto power and has always put the interests of the country above his own. Therefore in 2022, the President will have no need to hold onto power. In the past seven years, he has delivered to the people of this nation. We have peace, corruption is being fought and we are moving towards a more prosperous nation.
Additionally, the President has never stated that he wants to run for another term. Actually, he has stated countless times that he plans to retire at the end of his term multiple times.
This statement seems to be lost countless times to those trying to discredit the BBI process or seeking to turn Kenyans against it. It is wrong to push the country into such talk and those doing it should stop and focus on the reforms expected from the BBI process.
When Kenyans voted for the Constitution in 2010, they knew that it was possible to not have term limits. However, Kenyans chose to have the term limits in the Constitution for a good reason.
Term limits ensure that the government of the day delivers its mandate within the time provided. If there were no term limits, a popular president can just use all the time in office and not deliver because they know they have no ‘deadline’ and they will still be elected.
Nothing in the BBI process talks about extending the current President’s term so Kenyans must reject those claims. Those seeking to push such an agenda are only doing so to divide the country and Kenyans must not allow the seed of division to be planted.
The BBI process is about ensuring that we break the tremendous tension every election cycle. Where all Kenyans feel that they belong and that their political choices matter.
The BBI process is about the unity of this country and ensuring that we establish structures for lasting peace. It is about how to make the country more cohesive for the collective prosperity of Kenyans.