Why Uhuru Kenyatta is on the warpath
Updated Saturday, September 14th 2013 at 23:39 GMT +3By JUMA KWAYERA and Jacob Ng’etich
President Uhuru Kenyatta
Kenya: President Uhuru Kenyatta is an angry man. He is fed up with the incessant attacks the Opposition has mounted against the Jubilee government and distressed by the ongoing trials at the International Criminal Court.
According to Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, the pressure on the President to allocate more funds to counties, teachers, doctors, military and demands by university lecturers for better pay have pushed him to the wall.
Disquiet in the public service seemed to give the opposition the ammunition it required to launch attacks on the government, projecting the Jubilee administration as incompetent and indecisive, especially after it delayed to release July salaries for civil servants.
“There has been underground propaganda that the government would be weakened when the ICC trials begin,” Murkomen said.
“Yale yote mnasikia huko nje yataisha (all that you hear out there will come to an end),” said the president on Wednesday at Ukunda in reference to the ICC cases.
Sources close to him said the President wants to send a clear message that no one should take his leadership for granted or mistake his friendly persona as a sign of weakness. “The President has decided enough is enough because he has done everything in his power to work with the Opposition, but they have only intensified attacks against everything the Government is doing,” said an ally of the president.
He has been in a foul and combative mood over the last two weeks, daring the Opposition and telling his fiercest political opponent, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga “to stay at home and watch how we lead the country”. Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s spokesperson Dennis Onyango said there was no need to respond as the President did not mention the Cord leader directly.
“We decided not to respond because we do not feel like the President targeted the former Prime Minister directly. We can only comment when he is mentioned,” said Mr Onyango. Uhuru’s disposition has significantly shifted, noticeably switching from his trademark easy-going mien to an authoritative commander-in-chief ready to take the fight to his opponents’ doorstep.
Amukowa Anangwe, a political science lecturer at Dodoma University, says the President’s transformation is a reality check and is good for the country. “He has come to terms with the fact that he cannot rule by begging and pleading with Kenyans the way he has been doing. He has to act tough and be firm because as Head of State, he has realised he personally carries the failures and successes of the country, and thus he has to lead from the front... and that is good for the country,” said Prof Anangwe.
Munene Macharia of the United States International University seems to agree with this thinking. According to him, the tough-talking President is alive to the reality that too much bureaucracy in Government will rock the administration and undermine his own bid for a second term.
“He has been fair on bureaucrats but by asserting himself he also wants to instill discipline in public service because when things are not working well, he bears the blame,” said Prof Munene.
Standard Digital News - Kenya : Why Uhuru Kenyatta is on the warpath
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Why Uhuru is 'distressed over ICC as Ruto braves the dock
The reality of President Uhuru Kenyatta being in the dock in The Hague and the unpredictability of the International Criminal Court (ICC) are some of the reasons the Head of State was “distressed” when his Deputy appeared before the court on Tuesday. Photo/ANN KAMONI/FILE
By EMEKA-MAYAKA GEKARA
- The Deputy President on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to crimes against humanity charges in proceedings televised live from The Hague, Netherlands.
- The proceedings are not only seen as an embarrassment but an assault on the presidency.
- Inquiries by the Sunday Nation revealed that although there has been a strong push for him to call the court’s bluff, the President has maintained his commitment to co-operate with the ICC.
The reality of President Uhuru Kenyatta being in the dock in The Hague and the unpredictability of the International Criminal Court (ICC) are some of the reasons the Head of State was “distressed” when his Deputy appeared before the court on Tuesday.
In his maiden monthly media briefing on Thursday, State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu said the opening statements during the start of Deputy President William Ruto’s trial and comments by ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda had distressed the President.
Sources close to the presidency say President Kenyatta strongly feels that the ICC matter should go away as soon as possible.
The Deputy President on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to crimes against humanity charges in proceedings televised live from The Hague, Netherlands.
The President is also scheduled to stand trial before the court in November for alleged crimes against humanity.
Attending the court has been a humbling experience for top leaders and President Kenyatta will be the first sitting Head of State to answer charges at the ICC, a situation his handlers are determined to prevent.
Why Uhuru is