President Uhuru Kenyatta has said he will retire from office in 2022 and will not try to amend the Constitution to extend his tenure after his second and final term comes to end.
Speaking on Monday in an interview with CNN’s Richard Quest, President Kenyatta said he is not interested in a third term in office despite the political undertones calling on him to remain in office longer.
“Your term of office ends in 2022. You have said the Constitution prevents you from standing again. Are you trying to going to try and seek to change the Constitution?” Quest asked President Kenyatta, who responded with an emphatic “No.”
“I am not interested,” added Kenyatta when asked whether he would heed the call of those asking him to remain in office.
President Kenyatta went ahead to explain that the calls for a referendum from a section of political leaders is not about extending his tenure but reducing the cost of running the government.
“People are talking about Constitutional change not necessarily that they are desirous for the president to seek a third term but because of issues related to the cost of running this Constitution,” said Kenyatta.
The President’s sentiments come amid claims that a section Jubilee leaders are mulling over the possibility of amending the Constitution to make him a powerful prime minister once his term expires in 2022.
Reports indicate that this was part of the agenda at a Mt. Kenya parliamentary group meeting in Naivasha on Monday.
Meanwhile the President has played down the growing concerns over the country’s huge debt to China, further saying he is not worried about the country’s borrowing appetite.
“What would worry me is if the debt that we have incurred has gone to recurrent expenditure like salaries. But we have utilised that debt to close the infrastructure gap and anyone coming to Nairobi after 10 years will be able to know,” Uhuru told Quest.
The President said Kenya has a “healthy mix of debt” from the US, Japan, France and other international lenders, further questioning why people are mainly concerned about the country’s debt to China.
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