Kenya Leader Says He’ll Seek Second Term to Finish Graft Fight

By Sarah McGregor*

President Uhuru Kenyatta
President Uhuru Kenyatta

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said he will “definitely” run for a second term in elections next year, seeking to halt corruption and speed up economic growth.

Kenyatta, in an interview published in the Nairobi-based Star newspaper, said that he wants to continue with his reform agenda. The administration made “big strides in a very short period of time,” although the roll out of a new layer of government — with the creation of 47 counties — slowed progress, the leader said.

Kenyatta, 54, joined forced with his one-time rival, Vice President William Ruto, on a joint ticket for the 2013 elections, narrowly defeating opposition candidate Raila Odinga who disputed the result.

 Kenyatta has faced criticism for acting slowly in the campaign against corruption. In a statement on Tuesday Kenyatta defended his track record. More than a third of Cabinet ministers have been stripped of their duties following corruption allegations and 300 senior government officials are facing graft-related charges, but the courts have failed to conclude their cases, he said.

The opposition led by Odinga has said public-sector corruption is siphoning off funds that could be used for the country’s development. It says that the proceeds of a more than $2 billion Eurobond sale haven’t been accounted for. The country’s graft watchdog said in January there’s no evidence that any of the money was stolen and recommended an audit of how it was spent.

*Source Bloomberg

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