BABU OWINO: Case for a Uhuru Kenyatta Premiership

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President Uhuru Kenyatta (R) and Babu Owino [Photo: State House, Kenya]

There is unanimous agreement across the political divide in Kenya that the nation is at a constitutional moment. This was inevitable. In the lead up to the 2010 promulgation of the current constitution, it was noted across both “Yes” and “No” supporters that the document had room for improvement.

Moreover, legal scholars across the world inform us that constitutions are living documents that grow and evolve to fit society. Society does not exist for constitutions, but rather, constitutions exist for society. It should therefore not come as a surprise that over 5 million registered voters appended their signatures in support of the BBI Bill. Kenyans know what they want.

Therefore, this was a moment that was always coming. That said, the cognizance and realization of the enormity of this moment required a magnanimous leader who would be willing to put the nation above self and reach across the divide to build bridges. H. E Uhuru Kenyatta has proven himself worthy of the occasion.

Given how competitive the 2017 election was, many lesser leaders would have used their second term to tighten their grip on power and pursue unilateral governance. But our President recognized saw the weaknesses of winner-take-all and rose above! In choosing to work with his erstwhile opponent for the benefit of the people, President Kenyatta demonstrated the vision of the legendary giraffe that can scan the expanse of the Savannah in ways the rest of the wildlife can only dream.

Keen observers will note that this is not the first time that in the face of difficult circumstances, the President has shown wisdom. Ahead of the 2013 General Election, with the country still smarting from the wounds of the 2008 Post Election Violence and while personally carrying the weight of an international judicial process, Uhuru Kenyatta chose to work with his then rival William Ruto to unite the Kikuyu and Kalenjin communities that had been at each other’s throats in the previous cycle. The thrust of his decision then was to ensure that the two communities never fight again over political disagreements. That goal was achieved. The President has now gone further to include the rest of Kenya in this national conversation on reconciliation through the BBI process. All Kenyans of goodwill ought to support the President in this noble venture.

It is my considered opinion that as a key custodian of this initiative, Uhuru Kenyatta needs to see it through to the end. The mission of uniting all of Kenya will not be complete with the passing of the BBI document. This will only mark the beginning of an extended process. I will be seeking to persuade the President that he must seek election as Prime Minister to shepherd this crucial national process alongside H. E Raila Odinga to its logical conclusion. I am ready to forfeit my Embakasi East seat if he will take it up to ensure this happens.

Imagine if Uhuru Kenyatta had abandoned the Deputy President in 2017 and chosen a different running mate as was his prerogative, would the mission of uniting URP and TNA be complete? No! He understood that this journey requires more than a single electoral cycle and everybody in Jubilee supported this.

It therefore comes as a shock to me personally that those same people who backed his unification thesis are now the ones undermining it the most. We must cease this hypocrisy. President Kenyatta’s work is not done.

Soon, I will pen my thoughts on a case for a RAILA ODINGA PRESIDENCY.

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Babu Owino also known as Paul Ongili Owino, is a Kenyan politician and member of the National Assembly for Embakasi East Constituency.

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