For the first time, President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday joined the debate on politics of dynasties and ‘hustlers’, something that may cause panic in political arena.
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During the 41st memorial of his father, Jomo Kenyatta, Uhuru seemed to speak from the same script as Raila Odinga, whose relationship with his has blossomed in recent days.
In what could be remarks directed to DP William Ruto, who has often spoken about power and his background, Uhuru detached leadership from social status.
“When you hear people out there talk about dynasties … sijui mtu fulani ni dynasty, sijui ile dynasty (so and so belongs to this dynasty, or that dynasty). It’s not about that,” Uhuru said on Thursday.
“Leadership is not about where you were born or where you came from. It’s not about the colour of your skin or about tribe. Leadership is the desire to serve; the desire to do good and make a difference in the lives of the people.”
Besides his allies using the hustler tag to rally for his 2022 bid, Deputy President William Ruto has often narrated his humble beginnings, arguing that he was never sure to be where he is.
In May this year, Ruto claimed that at some point in life, he never thought he would sit down at a table occupied by son of founding father, Jomo Kenyatta.
“My father bought me my first shoe in 1981 from a ‘Mr. Onyango’ on the streets for Sh.60,” said Ruto.
“Today, the gentleman who did not have shoes is sitting at the high table with the son of the founding father.”
Early this year, Mr Odinga, who is believed to be Uhuru’s favourite successor, dismissed the dynasty narrative, terming it ‘tired’. He said that Jaramogi Oginga Odinga was in government for two years.
“He became vice president for a very short period then went to the opposition. All these years he was taken to prison. And when he was later reelected MP, he served for one year only then died, and left Raila,” he said.
“Where does the dynasty come from? If anything else, the Odingas have given more than they have gotten from the society. It is a very tired subject,” said Raila.
He also defended his new-found friendship with Uhuru, saying if it was about dynasties, the President would have been crowned when his father died in 1978.
“Kenyatta died in office when Uhuru was about 17 years. If it was a dynasty, at that age he (Uhuru) would have been crowned as prince,” he said.
University don Vincent Moracha believes that President Uhuru Kenyatta indirectly endorsed Mr Odinga on Thursday, by joining the debate of dynasties.
“It’s evident that Dr Ruto and his allies have been admonishing the so called dynasties. By speaking about it, Uhuru endorsed Mr Odinga,” he claimed.