NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 18 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has dismissed the dynasty versus hustler narrative as divisive, saying it is was fueling hatred against privileged people.
Speaking on Monday in a recorded interview carried Kikuyu-broadcasting radio stations, the President said the narrative was a threat to national development.
While acknowledging that majority of Kenya’s youthful population are jobless, he cautioned politicians against inciting them against the rich.
“We cannot empower the youth through incitement,” the President cautioned.
He gave reference to a recent incident where boda-boda operators are accused of lynching a lorry that was involved in an accident, while dismissing the owner as a dynasty.
The President said the government is working to create more job opportunities for the youth, saying some of the proposals are captured in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), a joint initiative between the Head of State and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga which seek to amend the country’s constitution.
“My government is also expanding the road infrastructure and engaging more international partners, so that there can be more opportunities for the youth,” the President said.
The term dynasty has been used by a section of politicians to refer to those who are politically privileged having been raised by parents who wielded executive power in the first two administrations, with their contrast being the hustlers, a movement linked to Deputy President William Ruto.
The President said the debate provoked him to pitch for a rotational presidency among the country’s diverse ethnic communities, an idea that was warmly welcomed by Odinga and Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka.
“If their logic is that because my father was a President that I should not become one, then we can also have another President from those communities that have not produced one,” he said.
“Interestingly, my sentiments seemed to touch a raw nerve. Did you see how they reacted?” he asked.
While he directly hit at the DP Ruto’s camp, the President did not mention his name during the interview which lasted more than an hour. He instead using the word “they” to refer to his critics.
On the growing opposition in his Mt Kenya backyard, the President accused politicians of misleading the residents.
He said there were more gains for the region under BBI and more so on revenue sharing.
“The BBI is not about an individual but the future of this country,” he said.
He also dismissed the cost of the forthcoming constitutional amendment referendum as marginal compared to “the gains.”
After all, the President added, “they steal more than Sh2 billion daily in some of the projects that I will not mention.”
The President also made a passionate appeal for Mt Kenya residents to unite behind his development course.
A section of President Kenyatta’s allies have been openly voiced their opposition to the BBI, with Senate Majority Chief Whip Irungu Kang’ata, an ally of the President who benefited from the purge that saw the removal of Ruto allies from senior parliamentary positions, openly terming the initiative as unpopular.
On Sunday, Kang’ata whose leaked letter to the Head of State elicited a national debate, said the President should focus on other developmental issues like reforming the tea and coffee sectors.