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Uhuru gives Raila-Ruto loads of ammunition for fresh hostilities

Raila Odinga and William Ruto in a past event/FILE

 

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s public declaration that he has no interest for a third term in office has only helped to open up a fresh supremacy battle between or his presumptive successor Deputy President William Ruto and opposition leader Raila Odinga.

Hostilities between Mr Ruto and Mr Odinga have lately been heightened in what is shaping out into a fierce succession battle ahead of the 2022 General Election.

Things have gotten murkier after President Kenyatta said he has no interest in extending his stay in office.

“I am not interested,” he told CNN’s Richard Quest, when probed on whether he wishes to prolong his stay in office, either as President of Executive Prime Minister, in the event the country’s constitution is changed.

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DP Ruto has emerged a serious contender to succeed Kenyatta, mainly owing to his abrasive networking with senior politicians from across the divide, his frequent meet the people tours, and deep pockets.

Mr Odinga, on the other hand, has yet to formally announce whether he will be retiring but all indications are that he is likely to contest.

The 72-year-old veteran politician seems to have recently found favour with President Kenyatta and also remains popular among Kenyans, especially in Western Kenya, his native Nyanza, Nairobi and the Coast.

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Kalonzo Musyoka and Musalia Mudavadi are among the other politicians mentioned by pundits as having a chance of becoming Kenya’s fifth President.

Meanwhile, Kenyatta who is currently serving his final term in office suggested that amending the Consitution – as has been suggested in some quarters – should not overburden taxpayers with the creation of more positions in government.

“People are talking about constitutional change but not necessarily because they are desirous for the President to seek a third term. They are talking about constitutional change because of issues related to the cost of running this new Constitution, etcetera,” the president said.