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Murathe: I wanted Uhuru to extend his term

Jubilee Party vice-chairman David Murathe has publicly confessed he would have wished for President Uhuru Kenyatta to extend his term in office.

Murathe, an influential person within the ruling political party and also considered one of President Kenyatta’s close confidants spoke on Wednesday during an interview on KTN.

“I never purport to speak on behalf of the President,” he stressed.

“But I know he is a stickler to the rule of law and our constitution. Former President (Mwai) Kibaki respected the term limits in Kenya. President Uhuru has said he will respect the constitution because we have to set the standards for African nations.”

The constitution of Kenya allows a President to rule for two terms of five years each.

Thus, President Kenyatta’s term which commenced in 2013 expires in August of 2022 and he has consistently stated in public that he cannot wait to retire and go home.

Murathe added: “Some of us could have wished he stayed a bit longer. We could have done a Putin for example how they do it in Russia, (where he becomes) the President, then Prime Minister flips again, but it cannot happen because you cannot expect Uhuru under this new dispensation to run for the MP for Gatundu South.”

Murathe made the ‘Putin’ comparison in relation to Russian President Vladimir Putin who has served both as President and Prime Minister of the country since 1999 while consistently benefitting from changing the country’s constitution.

President Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga are currently vouching for the change in the constitution through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) which if successful will introduce the position of a Prime Minister and two deputies, among others.

Odinga, Deputy President William Ruto, politicians, Musalia Mudavadi, Gideon Moi and Kalonzo Musyoka, plus powerful Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i are among those considered likely to take over when President Kenyatta retires.