President Uhuru Kenyatta’s speech during the burial ceremony of Hannah Mudavadi the mother of former Vice President Musalia Mudavadi left Kenyans with much to ponder.
While tearing into ethnic mobilisation during elections, President Kenyatta responded to political rhetoric that insinuated that Kenyans are tired of being ruled by two communities since independence.
“During a campaign rally in Msambweni, I heard politicians complain that Kenyans were tired of being ruled by certain families. You can get tired but don’t forget that votes do not come from the womb. The mandate is given by Kenyans at the ballot,” said Uhuru, adding that leadership positions were not distributed but earned.
President Uhuru Kenyatta joins mourners at the funeral service of Mama Hannah Atsianzale Mudavadi at Mululu Village in Vihiga County on January 9, 2021
“If you are tired, there is an opportunity to change the trend by voting. Some of those who are speaking are in leadership because of the votes I received and (they) did not get even one vote,” he added.
The head of state explained that power should not be bestowed on the basis of family background and community ties, because if that was the case, he would hand over power to a person from a community that has not produced a president.
This was viewed as a hint to Deputy President William Ruto and the Kalenjin community, which the late President Daniel Moi hailed from.
“To be honest, those who are saying they are tired of this or that family and that the opportunity should now be given to whoever…if that is the thinking or logic… I can also come to the conclusion that only two communities have had the presidency and we need to give another community the opportunity,” said the president, to the applause of the mourners.
This is probably the latest hint that Kenyatta would not automatically endorse his deputy to succeed him.
The head of state also responded to a challenge from COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli to crack the whip on errant members of his government.
“I voted for your father (Mzee Jomo Kenyatta – Kenya’s first President) in 1969 and he was a strict leader. I want you to come out and be serious like him. Your deputy is opposing two projects, BBI and Big 4 Agenda yet he claims to be your assistant.
“We are supporting you yet you can’t come out and defend your lieutenants. Even Peter Kenneth (former Gatanga MP) has been labelled an outcast in his own region (Mt Kenya) just because he is your ally,” Atwoli lamented.
Speaking in Swahili, Uhuru warned, “If you see a lion that has been rained and assume it is a cat. They can write all the letters they want but I am in charge of this government and I am in control of what I am doing. I don’t want to be lectured. I am the President and I am in charge of this government. I know where I am and I know where I am going.”