It is documented in Kenya’s history that incumbents have always tried to manage their succession. While this cannot be said of president Jomo Kenyatta because his term was cut short by death, his henchmen and cabals around him went to great lengths to manage the transition. After a serious struggle between competing powers though, Daniel Moi, Kenyatta’s deputy succeed him. President Moi then ruled for 24 years after which he endorsed Uhuru Kenyatta to succeed him. Even though Uhuru losed to Mwai Kibaki because of a strong wave of change against Moi then, it could be said that he set the current president on his path to presidency. President Kibaki went silently but it has been argued that his silence in the 2013 race was also a factor.
From the constitutional standpoint, president Uhuru Kenyatta is serving his last term as the President of the Republic of Kenya. He has been trying to manage his succession politics. The Building Bridges Initiative has been seen as a tool used by president Uhuru to tackle his succession politics.
At the threshold of BBI process everything worked in its favor. Signature collection was done successfully with more than required number of signatures attained. County assemblies also passed the BBI Bill with more than half of the county assemblies passing it. The National Assembly and The Senate also passed the Bill.
However, the remaining process has been sabotaged by the High Court’s ruling. This must have sent the president’s strategy team back to the drawing board.
President Uhuru’s Jubilee party also lost in three by-elections including two from his central backyard. Jubilee party failing to win in Uhuru’s backyard and given that the politics of this country is by nature tribal, has re-energized his political opponents.
According to The Standard, president reportedly called Jubilee Vice Chair David Murathe questioning how he lost in his backyard despite an assurance that Jubilee was on the verge of victory.
Apart from different politicians trying to succeed Uhuru Kenyatta, in Central Kenya there have also been different leaders aiming to succeed him as the region’s spokesperson.
National Assembly speaker Justin Muturi has been installed as Mt Kenya region’s spokesperson joining Muranga Governor Mwangi Wa Iria, Peter Keneth, Former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo, CS Peter Munya, Governor Ann Waiguru as leaders angling for the region’s spokesperson.
Time being an important factor in politics and with only around 14 months to the next general elections, Uhuru’s strategy team should now be tirelessly working on the succession politics without miscalculations and without relying on misleading intelligence. If he doesn’t influence his succession, considering his age, the he will go down as the most unpopular president in Kenya!