NAIROBI, Kenya Jul- 23 – President Mwai Kibaki has indicated that he will not be pushed into endorsing any individual seeking the presidency as the country’s leadership should be determined by Kenyans.
The president, who retires after his current term, said the presidential aspirants’ development record and campaign strategy will decide if they will be chosen to lead the nation after him.
In February, President Kibaki ignored calls by Orange Democratic Movement leaders to endorse Prime Minister Raila Odinga as the country’s next leader, to pay back Odinga for his -Kibaki Tosha endorsement in 2002 that saw him get a landslide victory.
“There are those who have been asking me, why I am not commenting on the upcoming elections, but I usually ask them, how will it benefit them? The thing that will help you is determination you put in your bid -,” the president said during the groundbreaking of the Olkaria IV Geothermal power plant in Naivasha.
He added: “The work that I have done over the years, is what – has got me where I am.”
Several politicians among them Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Deputy Prime Ministers Uhuru Kenyatta and Musalia Mudavadi; Cabinet Ministers Moses Wetangula, Eugene Wamalwa and Assistant Minister Peter Kenneth, MPs Martha Karua ,William Ruto, Mutava Musyimi and former Education PS James ole Kiyiapi have already declared their interests in the top seat.
“As you can see, we have been on a development trend. You can see we have expanded the road network… the agriculture sector has registered a marked improvement and for that I would like to thank you the people,” he said.
In June, the president revealed that he has a preferred successor, even though he has not been seen openly campaigning for anyone.
At the time, President Kibaki who was speaking in Mombasa during a peace forum for lawmakers had said that he knows what kind of a leader Kenyans want and that is the person he would back-.
“If you hear that I’m not campaigning for anything don’t think that I don’t believe in anything, I know the kind of project that we want in Kenya and I know that it does not do anybody any good to preach a different thing,” he told the meeting which was attended by among others – Odinga and – Musyoka.
In the same month, he denied that he had endorsed the vice-president – as his successor after a series of contradictory messages.
Political analysts and the vice president’s supporters have in the past pointed out that Kibaki may endorse his principal deputy out of the feeling that he owes Kalonzo a – favour, after the latter stepped in and helped him form a government – during the post election violence which was sparked by the disputed presidential election results -.
More recently, there has been speculation that the president had developed a soft spot for -Mudavadi who decamped from -Odinga’s ODM to the United Democratic Forum. –
Mudavadi has enjoyed a series of high level briefs which has only served to amplify the notion that he is being groomed to inherit the reins of power once President Kibaki retires, a suggestion he has flatly dismissed.
During the Madaraka Day – celebration on June 1, Mudavadi was the one who welcomed the president to deliver the keynote speech. A day later, the DPM represented the Head of State at a high level State function, the fifth world’s accreditation day celebrations at the KICC.