Uhuru Kenyatta Profile




Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta (born 26 October 1961) is a Kenyan politician who has served in the government of Kenya as Deputy Prime Minister since 2008. He is the Member of Parliament for Gatundu South Constituency and Chairman of Kenya African National Union (KANU), which is currently part of the Party of National Unity (PNU).
Kenyatta is the son of Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya's first president (1964–1978). His name, Uhuru, is Swahili for "freedom". He attended St Mary's School in Nairobi. From there he went on to study political science at Amherst College in the United States.
Nominated to Parliament in 2001, he became Minister for Local Government under President Daniel arap Moi and, despite his political inexperience, was favored by President Moi as his successor; Kenyatta ran as KANU's candidate in the December 2002 presidential election, but lost to opposition candidate Mwai Kibaki by a large margin. He subsequently became Leader of the Opposition in Parliament. He backed Kibaki for re-election in the December 2007 presidential election and was named Minister of Local Government by Kibaki in January 2008, before becoming Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade in April 2008 as part of a coalition government.
Subsequently Kenyatta was Minister of Finance from 2009 to 2012, while remaining Deputy Prime Minister. Accused by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of committing crimes against humanity in relation to the violent aftermath of the 2007 election, he resigned as Minister of Finance on 26 January 2012.

Political life

His initial entry into politics came through his election as the chairman of his hometown branch of the ruling party, KANU, in 1997. This came with the tacit approval of President Moi. At the time, many saw the election as a calculated move to prepare Uhuru for bigger things.
In the general election held the same year, Uhuru contested the Gatundu South Constituency parliamentary seat, once held by his father. It was assumed he would sail through. But that was not be: Uhuru lost to Moses Mwihia, a little-known Nairobi architect. After losing the election, Uhuru's friends say that he was extremely upset and that he vowed to quit politics altogether.
He hurriedly retreated to the family business empire that includes five-star tourist hotels, airlines and commercial farming. Little did Uhuru know that President Moi was still intent on propelling him onto the national political scene.
In 1999 Moi appointed Uhuru the new chairman of the Kenya Tourism Board, where he worked with Kenya's political power-broker Nicholas Biwott, a very close confidante of the president. Apparently the young Uhuru was undergoing even more intensive training. Then came October 2001 and Uhuru was nominated to parliament and subsequently to the cabinet as Minister for Local Government. In March of this year Uhuru Kenyatta made it big on the national political scene when he was elected as one of the four national vice-chairmen of KANU.
President Moi paid a heavy price for ensuring Kenyatta was KANU's presidential candidate, with several senior party figures, their own ambitions thwarted, resigning to set up another party (the Liberal Democratic Party).
In the presidential election held on 27 December 2002, Kenyatta was soundly defeated by opposition leader Mwai Kibaki, taking only 31% of the vote against 62% for Kibaki; this marked the end of KANU's continuous 39 years of rule since independence. Many attributed Kenyatta's defeat to his association with the retiring President Moi, whose long rule was widely regarded as hopelessly corrupt and ineffectual. He was also seen to be lacking experience and his campaign team lacked the big names, most of whom had left KANU to join the opposition NARC. Despite losing the presidential election, Uhuru Kenyatta won an MP seat at the Gatundu south constituency.
Since he joined Moi's inner circle, Uhuru Kenyatta has been fighting to prove that he is his own man and not Moi's stooge. In late January 2005, Uhuru Kenyatta defeated Nicholas Biwott for chairmanship of KANU, taking 2,980 votes among party delegates against Biwott's 622.[1]
Uhuru led his party Kanu in Campaigns against the draft constitution in 2005, having teamed up with the Liberal Democratic Party to form the Orange Democratic Movement. This saw Kenyans humiliate the government by rejecting the draft constitution by a noticeable margin.
In November 2006, Kenyatta was displaced as KANU leader by Biwott, although Kenyatta said he would not accept the decision. [2][3] On 28 December 2006, the High Court of Kenya reinstated Uhuru Kenyatta as KANU chairman. However, further court proceedings followed. [4] On 28 June 2007, the High Court confirmed Kenyatta as party leader, ruling that there was insufficient evidence for Biwott's argument that Kenyatta had joined another party.[5]
On 13 September 2007, Kenyatta withdrew from the December 2007 presidential election and said that he would back Kibaki for re-election.[6] He said that he did not want to run unless he could be sure of winning.[7]
Following the election, which proved extremely controversial when Kibaki was declared the victor despite claims of fraud from challenger Raila Odinga and his Orange Democratic Movement, Kibaki appointed Kenyatta as Minister for Local Government on 8 January 2008.[8] After Kibaki and Odinga reached a power-sharing agreement, Kenyatta was named Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade on 13 April 2008, as part of the Grand Coalition Cabinet. He is the Deputy Prime Minister representing the PNU, while another Deputy Prime Minister, Musalia Mudavadi, represents the ODM.[9][10][11] Kenyatta and the rest of the Cabinet were sworn in on 17 April.[12][13]
To his supporters Uhuru Kenyatta is a visionary leader. Being the son of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, Uhuru's upbringing was steeped in politics.
According to Uhuru, "Growing up in the Kenyatta household taught us many things. My father taught us to treat everyone fairly. He taught us the essence of justice and fairness, he told us to learn from history but not to live in history."
[edit]Minister of Finance

Uhuru Kenyatta was moved from the post of Minister for Trade and appointed Minister for Finance on 23 January 2009, while remaining Deputy Prime Minister.[14] Since his appointment, he has spearheaded a number of reform measures that have seen a change in how treasury and government by extension transacts it business. These include:
[edit]Economic Stimulus Programme
The Economic Stimulus Programme, commonly referred to as ESP Kenya Economic Stimulus Program, was launched under the leadership of Uhuru Kenyatta in his capacity as the Minister for Finance. ESP is an intensive, high impact programme, that aims to stimulate economic activity, create employment opportunities, encourage innovation in wealth-creation, spur entrepreneurship and support the building blocks that anchor a healthy, educated and innovative populace.
Kenya Economic Stimulus Program outlines various objectives which include boosting the country's economic recovery, investing in long term solutions to the challenges of food security, expanding economic opportunities in rural areas for employment creation, promoting regional development for equity and social stability, improving infrastructure, enhancing the quality of education, availing affordable health-care for all Kenyans, investing in the conservation of the environment and expanding the access to and building the ICT capacity of the general populace of Kenya.[15] In launching the Economic Stimulus Programme, the Ministry of Finance aimed to achieve regional development for equity and social stability.
[edit]Integrated Financial Management Information System re-engineered
Originally introduced in 2003 the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS)[16] was re-engineered by the Ministry of Finance to curb fraud and other malpractices that stem from inefficiency. In re-engineering IFMIS, the Ministry aimed to put Kenya's financial and economic information in a format that was accessible from an online platform which would radically improve public expenditure management under the Ministry of Finance.
IFMIS enables fully integrated planning for the budgeting process since it links planning policy objectives and budget allocation.[17] It also seeks to support the e-Government shared services strategy by taking government financial services online. IFMIS will ensure that status reports are readily available which enhances capacity to track budgets thus enabling effective decision-making. The three pronged benefits of IFMIS include leading to improvements in planning and budgeting, monitoring, evaluation and accountability and budget execution. Other benefits include aiding in the reduction in maintenance cost of government fleets in terms of fuel and spares where huge losses have been previously incurred.
IFMIS can also accommodate last minute changes on the budget more easily thereby increasing accuracy of presentation. Also, the availability of accounting information in a consolidated format will allow the government's books and those of the Central Bank of Kenya to be reconciled. In pioneering the re-engineering of IFMIS, Uhuru Treasury provided the whole of government a way of dealing with corruption; an evil that has drained Kenya's national coffers of much needed resources. With the system in place, corruption will soon be dealt its final blow.
[edit]Funds for the Inclusion of Informal Sector
Uhuru Kenyatta launched the Fund for the Inclusion of Informal Sector (FIIS)[18] which is a fund that allows Micro and Small Entrepreneurs (MSE) to access credit facilities, expand their businesses and increase their savings.
It also aims to help informal enterprises transition to formal sector enterprises through access to formal providers of financial services. The fund is a revolving fund through which the government enters into credit facility agreements with select banks for on-lending to MSEs through branches, authorized banking agents and other channels, particularly mobile banking.
It was launched in March 2011, and so far it has 3 banks, the Cooperative Bank of Kenya, Equity Bank and K-Rep bank, as partners. The launch of the fund seeks to address many of the defining challenges facing Kenya's national economy like unemployment, particularly among youths. Through the fund, the Ministry of Finance has undertaken the necessary steps to transform the SME sector to be one of the key drivers for achieving broad based economic growth, employment creation and poverty reduction in Kenya.
Its objective is to ensure that the MSE sector becomes efficient, innovative and has a diversified and competitive product range. It will also provide policies that raise the earnings and productivity of the sector and transform the sector into a more formal setup. Through directing the development of the fund, Uhuru Kenyatta sought to ensure Financial Inclusion of an estimated 8.3 million Kenyans working in the informal sector. These included 2 million in the Jua Kali sector and 5 million kiosk owners, mama mbogas and hawkers, with the rest in the informal transport sectors and the small-scale manufacturing sectors.
[edit]Investor compensation fund
The operations of the investor compensation fund which aimed to compensate investors who had lost money to defunct stock brokers such as Nyaga Stock Brokers and Discount Securities Limited were launched under his watch. In launching the operations of the fund, also ensured that the interests of future investors were safeguarded. The fund had prior to the launch of its operations been established under the Capital Markets Act.
This Fund is specifically meant to compensate investors who suffer losses resulting from failure of a licensed stockbroker or dealer to meet his contractual obligations. In both the case of the collapse of Nyaga Stock Brokers and the collapse of Discount Securities Limited all genuine claims within the statutory maximum of Sh.50,000 per every investor were compensated.
Uhuru Kenyatta also directed that interest on contributions made to the investor compensation fund be exempt from tax.
[edit]Treasury's Internal Audit Department
Through the Ministry of Finance, Uhuru Kenyatta initiated an internal audit on all donor-funded projects and found that funds given to both KESSP and WKCDD had been misappropriated. Together with the relevant ministries, Uhuru Kenyatta directed that the related staff members be suspended.[19]
The government, through treasury and public financial management reforms, strengthened audit capacity as a result of structured capacity building and the merger of all Government of Kenya (GoK) audit functions (including those of schools and local authorities) so as to enhance their independence and effectiveness. The Ministry of Finance also issued a circular to bring donor-funded projects within the mandate of the Treasury's Internal Audit Department (IAD) with an aim of effectively monitoring the use of funds allocated to these projects.
On 13 June 2011, Uhuru also released a statement on the Final Foresic Audit Report for Ministry of Education and Ministry of Medical Services. The forensic audit itself was carried out between April and September, 2010 and involved the Ministry of Finance Internal Audit Department (IAD) with technical support from DFID. This forensic audit showed misappropriations in the named ministries.[20]
[edit]Cutting government expenditure
In 2009, Uhuru Kenyatta directed that government Ministers, along with Assistant Ministers and Permanent Secretaries, should turn in their Mercedes-Benz government cars for Volkswagen Passats. In doing this he aimed not only to reduce government car costs to about two-thirds the price of a Mercedez-Benz but also to reduce the cost of running and maintaining these cars.
'Time Magazine' reported that, "Thanks to a government cost-cutting program aimed at saving taxpayers some $27 million, Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta announced this summer that government ministers, along with assistant ministers and permanent secretaries, must turn in their ubiquitous Mercedes-Benz for Volkswagen Passats, which not only cost about two-thirds the price of a new Benz in Kenya, but are, says the government, cheaper to run and maintain.[21]
[edit]Use of social media in the budget making process
The Business Daily, one of the Kenya's leading financial newspapers, reported Treasury invites Kenyans to 'tweet' their budget views.[22] "Citing Article 10 of the Constitution of Kenya, which recognizes inclusiveness as part of the National Values and Principles of governance, the Minister said he was pursuing a more inclusive means of formulating the document.... Within three hours, more than 300 people had submitted responses to the Treasury using an on-line document that asked questions like which sectors should get funding and how the government could increase its tax intake."
'All Twitter' reported,[23] "In a move that might be the most social media friendly we've seen from a politician, Kenya's Finance Minister has asked his Twitter followers for their input on the country's budget – and promises to take their comments into consideration in the next draft....but this request from Kenya's Finance Minister goes above and beyond political representation to hear directly from the people.... This is a fantastic example of using social media to empower democracy.... Kenyatta has shown that any politician interested in actually hearing from the people can do so."
Uhuru Kenyatta's use of social media has endeared him to the tech savvy community in Kenya who know that to reach him, he is just a tweet away. Aljazeera's The Stream which taps into the extraordinary potential of social media to disseminate news covered Uhuru's use of Social Media in their show.[24]
The Minister also notably called on other members of parliament during his 2011/2012 budget speech to use social media to communicate directly with Kenyans.
[edit]Open government
The Minister released the budget estimates to the public through the Ministry website[25] a week before the reading of the Budget and immediately the budget was read, his Budget Speech,[26] A Citizen's Guide to the Budget,[27] were made public through his various platform. These are some of the actions that have seen him declared as a proponent of open government.
[edit]Controversies

[edit]Budgetary discrepancies
Though noted as one of the few ministers without any scandals[28], on 29 April 2009, Uhuru faced a scare after he presented a supplemental budget that was approved by parliament. The supplemental budget was to cover the budget gap that had arisen due to slow economic growth. The government required an additional Kshs 38 billion, but compromised on a figure of Kshs 22 billion and non essential proposed expenditure was postponed as a result. After voting on the bill brought forward by Kenyatta, Gitobu Imanyara brought up discrepancy questions as to what exactly had been approved by the house. It appeared that parliament had voted on Kshs 31 billion as opposed to Kshs 22 billion that they thought they were voting on – the difference totalling Kshs 9.2 billion. The Deputy Prime Minister initially defended the budget that had been passed but later admitted that there were computer or typographical errors in budget bill. An investigation by the CID and a parliamentary committee was ordered by the Speaker, to question him on the discrepancies.[29] He was later cleared of any wrong doing by the Joint Finance and Budgetary Committee on the issue.
[edit]2007-2008 post-election violence
On 15 December 2010, Uhuru Kenyatta was named as a suspect of crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court prosecutor Moreno Ocampo, for planning and funding violence in Naivasha and Nakuru.[31] This was in relation to the violence that followed the bungled national elections in Kenya of December 2007. He has been accused of organizing a Kikuyu politico-religious group, the Mungiki, in the post-election violence. Uhuru maintains his innocence and wants his name cleared. On 8 March 2011, he was indicted after being summoned to appear before the ICC pre-trial chamber. He is to appear at the Hague on 8 April 2011 alongside 5 other suspects.[32] On 29 September 2011, while seeking to exonerate himself, Uhuru Kenyatta put up a spirited fight as he was being cross-examined by ICC Chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo in the Hague, denying any links with the outlawed Mungiki sect. He said Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga should take political responsibility for the acts of violence and killings that followed the 2007 presidential elections in Kenya. He told the three judges that "by telling his supporters election results were being rigged, fanned tensions and then failed to use his influence to quell the violence that followed the announcement of the 2007 presidential results." (see headline of Thursday, 29 September 2011 here) Website.
[edit]Confirmation of the ICC charges
Though Uhuru had previously dismissed ICC summons[33], he changed his decision along the way and together in the company his two other co-accused suspects; Head of Civil Servant, Ambassador Francis Muthaura and former Police Commissioner Hussein Ali. The trio honored the ICC Summons that sought to determine whether their cases met the set standards for international trials.[34] On 23 January 2012, the ICC confirmed the cases against Kenyatta and Muthaura

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2 comments for Uhuru Kenyatta Profile

  1. Good president. But you should sack under performing cabinet secretaries like Ole Lenku

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