Sunday, January 30, 2011

Uhuru faces hurdles in 2012 State House race

By OLIVER MATHENGE omathenge@ke.nationmedia.comPosted Saturday, January 29 2011 at 21:00

Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, who is also Finance minister, is facing what analysts say may be the toughest moment in his political career. But his aides and close allies say the Gatundu South MP is unshaken.
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The DPM faces several critical issues that he needs to deal with in order to concentrate on next year’s political contest.
He is among six Kenyans named last December as key masterminds of the 2007-2008 post-election violence.
He is also involved in leadership wrangles in Kanu – where he is the national chairman – against a group led by his deputy and former Baringo Central MP Gideon Moi.
Also hanging around his neck is the resettlement of internally displaced persons and the funding of their resettlement in his capacity as Finance minister.
Mr Kenyatta is also fighting to shake off a tribal tag that has been associated with an alliance that he has been putting together with Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka and Eldoret North MP William Ruto.
It is also yet to be seen how the ongoing intrigues will affect Mr Kenyatta’s performance in his Finance ministry. He is scheduled to present a supplementary budget anytime from next week as well as the 2011/2012 budget in June.
But according to his director of communication Munyori Buku, Mr Kenyatta plans to hver his name on the 2012 presidential ballot if he manages to defeat his colleagues in the primaries.
The same sentiments are shared by two of Mr Kenyatta’s closes allies and former MPs, Justin Muturi and David Murathe.
Second time
The three told the Sunday Nation that Mr Kenyatta has not lost his ambition to run for the presidency for a second time despite all that he is facing.
According to them, the troubles facing Mr Kenyatta are not giving him sleepless nights as has been suggested.
On the anticipated ruling by ICC judges, Mr Kenyatta’s allies say that it is not a distraction, arguing that Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo only indicated his intention to prosecute the DPM, and the other five but this does not mean that he is guilty.
“If the ICC was meant to make him stop his political activity, then it has failed. As for now nothing is hanging around him. Not even the ICC. Ocampo conducted his political artistry and we await the judges’ decision,” Mr Buku told the Sunday Nation.
Mr Kenyatta’s priority, according to his allies, is to capture the PNU alliance ticket and contest the presidency with the hope to win.
There have been calls by a section of Kanu to remove Mr Kenyatta as chairman, saying he was not making any effort to strengthen the former ruling party due to his engagement with PNU.
Mr Muturi, who is also Kanu organising-secretary, said he and Mr Kenyatta were ready to relinquish their positions in the party to comply with the Constitution.
Mr Buku, however, admits that Mr Kenyatta could be a bit distracted and working out strategies depending on the outcome of the ICC ruling.
But Mr Murathe said the ICC issue appears to have raised Mr Kenyatta’s profile and strengthened his prospects for 2012. He added that people who may have not wanted to support him before are now rallying around him.

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