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Kenya's president-elect Uhuru Kenyatta: profile

Kenya's president-elect Uhuru Kenyatta: profile


55-year-old Jubilee Party candidate and now President-elect of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta is the incumbent president and the youngest in the country’s history when he was first sworn in 2013.

Before his election for his first term, Kenyatta was a deputy prime minister in the Mwai Kibaki government which had his strongest opponent Raila Odinga as Prime Minister.

After grooming by former President Daniel Moi to become president in 2002, Kenyatta lost the bid to Kibaki, but backed him to win the disputed 2007 elections which saw some 1,300 people killed and more than 600,000 displaced in election violence.

Uhuru Kenyatta and his running mate William Ruto were both indicted by the International Criminal Court in 2011 for incitement of the deadly post-election ethnic violence against Odinga’s supporters in 2007.

The charges were dropped against Kenyatta in December 2014 and against Ruto in April 2016 due to lack of evidence – months/ years after winning the 2013 elections.

Uhuru Kenyatta has not always been a politician. The shy son of the country’s first president Jomo Kenyatta grew up in wealth from his family’s several businesses and lands.

He appeared on the political scene after former President Moi named him as his successor in 2001.

Kenyatta gained the support of his Kikuyu ethnic group – which is the largest in Kenya – and squared it off with the support from the Deputy President William Ruto’s ethnic group Kalenjin to secure him a win in 2013.

For his campaign for a second term, Uhuru Kenyatta was riding on his achievements in job creation, security, social policy and transportation expansion.

After he is sworn in on August 29, he will be Kenya’s fifth president.

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