President Uhuru Kenyatta: Profile / Biography
Born October 26, 1961, Kenya’s fourth President, Mr.Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta is the son of Kenya’s ﬁrst President, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and Mama Ngina Kenyatta. He was named Uhuru in anticipation of independence in 1963.
Although his father was the President, Uhuru would spend time in the Gatundu home and it is only when he was seven in 1968 that he celebrated his birth day at State House; it was the only time that he did so.
Mr. Kenyatta attended St Mary’s School in Nairobi and played as a winger in the school’s rugby team. He attained a Division 1 in his “O” Level exams, with a distinction in English. In a rare photo taken at St Mary’s, he is pictured in school uniform receiving an award as the top“A” Level student in history from the then Vice-President and Minister for Finance, Mr. Mwai Kibaki, the man he was to succeed as President.
In school, besides playing rugby, Mr. Kenyatta‘s other passion was drama and in November, 1977, he featured in the Comic Opera The Mikadoas father with child.
However, while still at St Mary’s at the age of 17, the young Kenyatta lost his father on August 22, 1978. He completed his “A” Levels, and passed with three principals.
He worked as a teller at the Kenya Commercial Bank’s Kipande House in Nairobi. He left the bank in 1980 for Amherst College, USA, to study Political Science and Economics. Mr. Kenyatta graduated in 1985. He lists football and golf as his hobbies and loves watching athletics on television.
In July 31, 1990, during the clamour for political pluralism, Mr. Kenyatta joined some four young Kenyans in their late 20s and made a case for Kanu to open up the political space, there by joining a growing chorus against the ruling party’s lethargy towards pluralism.
Besides Mr. Kenyatta, the others included Mr. Alfred Getonga (son to pioneer Nairobi Town Clerk), Mr. Argwings Ceaser Kodhek (son of one of Kenya’s ﬁrst African lawyers and minister in Mzee Kenyatta’s Cabinet, the late Argwings Kodhek), Mr. Peter Mboya (son of trade unionist and minister, the late Tom Mboya) and Mr. Francis Michuki (son of the late minister John Michuki).
The group told the George Saitoti-led Kanu Electoral Review Committee that Kenyans were demanding expanded political space. During the ﬁrst multi-party elections in 1992, Mr. Kenyatta backed Kenneth Matiba’s Ford Asili, although he did not run for a parliamentary seat.
Two years later, Mr. Kenyatta would make a decision to concentrate on politics and sold his company, William Kenya Ltd in 1994, which he had started shortly after leaving Amherst University. The ﬁrm used to pick up horticultural products for export.
It was through what was known as Gatundu Professionals Group, whose then membership included Permanent Secretary Wamatu Njoroge and Mr. David Kigochi, then a senior ofﬁcer at the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife that Mr.Kenyatta would enter into the mainstream Gatundu politics ahead of the 1997 General Election.
Mr. Kenyatta chose to remain in Kanu when most leading politicians in Central Province had decamped to the Opposition. By 1997 he had built enough grassroots’ support and a smaller Gatundu South Constituency had been carved from the larger Gatundu constituency. But he lost his quest for the seat to Mr. Moses Muihia. In 1999, President Moi appointed Mr. Kenyatta the chairman of Kenya Tourism Board. A year later, he was nominated to the Kenya Parliament after the exit of Mark Too.
Mr. Kenyatta was subsequently appointed to the Cabinet as Minister for Local Government. In March, 2001, he entered the national political scene when he was elected as one of the four national vice-chairmen of Kanu.
With several Kanu leaders eyeing the presidential seat after President Moi’s last term, Mr. Kenyatta emerged as his choice, sparking an exodus from Kanu that saw Mr. Raila Odinga, Mr. Kalonzo Musyoka and former Internal Security Minister George Saitoti decamp to the Liberal Democratic Party and later onto National Rainbow Coalition (Narc).
In the presidential election held on December 27, 2002, Mr. Kenyatta was defeated by opposition leader Mwai Kibaki, taking only 31 per cent of the vote against Mr. Kibaki’s 62 percent. This marked the end of Kanu’s uninterrupted 39-year rule since independence.
The acceptance of defeat by Mr. Kenyatta endeared him to many Kenyans. Mr. Kenyatta subsequently became the leader of Official. Opposition, taking his duties seriously on the floor of the House.
As the clamour for a new Constitution continued, Mr. Kenyatta led his party, Kanu, in campaigns against the draft constitution in 2005, having teamed up with the Liberal Democratic Movement (LDP) wing of Narc. The latter had rebelled against President Kibaki over a memorandum of understanding that was allegedly never fulﬁlled after the Narc victory.
On September 13, 2007, Mr. Kenyatta withdrew from the December, 2007, presidential election and said that he would back President Kibaki for re-election. He said that he did not want to run unless he could be sure of winning. He won his Gatundu South seat and was reappointed to the Ministry of Local Government in January 2008.
Mr. Kenyatta was later named the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade when the Grand Coalition Government was formed after the Koﬁ Annan-led talks ended the post-election violence and row over the disputed 2007 presidential election. He was later appointed Finance Minister in 2009 but resigned in January 2012.
In his ﬁrst budget, Mr. Kenyatta released Kshs 105 million to every constituency to ﬁnance infrastructure development, boost education and health care and revive other projects at the grassroots on what was dubbed economic stimulus package, an intensive, high-impact programme that aims to stimulate economic activity, create employment opportunities, encourage innovation in wealth-creation, spur entrepreneurship and support the building blocks that anchor a healthy, educated and innovative populace
In another radical measure, Mr. Kenyatta limited the number and engine capacity of official vehicles Cabinet ministers were entitled to. Ministers were ordered to use cars that did not exceed 1,800 cc. He led from the front by driving in a VW Passat compared to the largely preferred Mercedes Benz models.
It was during his tenure at the Treasury that the country crossed the Kshs1 trillion borrowing threshold and budgetary allocations of various ministries were scrutinized by a parliamentary committees in accordance to the new Constitution.
Other reforms that saw a change in how the Treasury and the Government transacted business that were effected under Mr. Kenyatta‘s tenure at the Treasury include the reintroduction of the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) to curb fraud and other malpractices that stemmed from inefficiency and radically improve public expenditure management; launch of the Fund for the Inclusion of Informal Sector (FIIS), which allowed micro and small entrepreneurs (MSE) to access credit facilities, expand their businesses and increase their savings and write-off of KshS 3.7 billion coffee debts.
Mr. Kenyatta run for the March 4, 2013. Presidential race on The National Alliance (TNA) ticket under the Jubilee Alliance who’s other main partner was the United Republican Party of Deputy President William Ruto. Others in the Jubilee coalition were Charity Ngilu, Joseph Nyaga and Najib Balala‘
He served as Kenya’s Deputy Prime Minister in the last term of the Mwai Kibaki government (2008-2015).
His dramatic political career took a turn on December 15, 2010, when the International Criminal Court (ICC) named him as a suspect of crimes against humanity over the 2008 post-election chaos.
Mr. Kenyatta married his best friend Margaret Wanjiru Gakuo, a daughter of the former Kenya Railways general manager, Dr E.N. Gakuo, in 1991. Together they have three children: Jomo, Ngina and Muhoho.
President Uhuru Kenyatta – Timeline.
President Uhuru Kenyatta - Fourth President of Kenya
October 26, 1961: Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta is born. He is named Uhuru, in anticipation for Kenya’s upcoming independence
Uhuru Kenyatta attended St Mary’s School in Nairobi. He played as a Winger for St. Mary’s Nairobi Rugby Team
1978: Uhuru loses his father, and Kenya’s firrst president ; Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, who died aged 89.
1979 – 1980 Uhuru Kenyatta worked as a teller at the Kenya Commercial Bank, Kipande House Branch.
Uhuru Kenyatta joined Amherst College USA. to study Political Science and Economics.
1989: Uhuru Kenyatta starts his first company, Wiham Kenya Limited, where he used to personally pick up and transport horticulture for export on his pick up truck.
1991: Uhuru Kenyatta marries his sweetheart and best friend Margaret.
1992: Uhuru Kenyatta campaigns for Kenneth Matiba
1994: Uhuru Kenyatta sold Wiham Kenya Limited.
1997: Uhuru Kenyatta runs for the Parliamentary seat for Gatundu South, But looses to Moses Muhia.
1999: Uhuru Kenyatta was appointed the new chairman of the Kenya Tourism Board by President Moi
2001: Uhuru Kenyatta is Nominated to Parliament by President Moi
2001 Uhuru Kenyatta is appointed minister for Local Government under President Daniel arap Moi
2002: Uhuru Kenyatta contested for the presidency on a KANU ticket, but lost to NARC’s Mwai Kibaki and opted to take his seat as official Opposition Leader.
January 2005: Uhuru Kenyatta defeated Nicholas Biwott for chairmanship of KANU, taking 2,980 votes among party delegates against Biwott’s 622.
2005: Uhuru Kenyatta led his party KANU in campaigns against the draft constitution in the 2005 constitutional referendum.
September 13, 2007: Uhuru Kenyatta withdrew from the December 2007 presidential election and said that he would back Kibaki for re-election. He said that he did not want to run unless he could be sure of winning.
December 2007: Uhuru Kenyatta backed Kibaki for re-election in the presidential election.
January 2008: Uhuru Kenyatta was named Minister of Local Government by president Mwai Kibaki.
13 April 2008: Uhuru Kenyatta was named Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade as part of the Grand Coalition Cabinet.
December 15, 2010: Uhuru Kenyatta was named as a suspect of crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court prosecutor Moreno Ocampo, for planning and funding violence in Naivasha and Nakuru
9 March 2013: Uhuru Kenyatta wins the presidential election and becomes the forth president of Kenya
“Growing up in the Kenyatta household taught us many things. My father taught us to treat everyone fairly. He taught us the essence of justice and fairness, he told us to learn from history but not to live in history.”