Kenya: President Kenyatta rejects U.S. drone strikes

While on an official visit to France, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta spoke with media on the main challenges facing him. On the fight against terror, the Kenyan leader denied reports that the US military has sought permission to carry out drone strikes inside Kenya stressing that if such a request were made, he would turn it down.

With regards to terrorism, Kenyatta said the danger to his country had sharply lessened besides Somalia’s Islamist group al Shabaab who have remained the main threat. He however did not promise a date for withdrawal of Kenyan troops from Somalia.

Asked about an issue raised by the Chief Justice to dissolve parliament due to gender equality measures had not been enacted, he said that the decision was now before the courts, stressing that dissolving parliament was not his intention.

Vis-à-vis his stressed relations with Deputy President William Ruto, President Kenyatta warned that it was too early to campaign for the 2022 presidential election, stating that working to improve inclusiveness by reaching out to the opposition is key. He said such a move was not directed at weakening his vice president.

However, Kenyatta refused to commit to support his vice in 2022 as per their earlier agreement when they decided to run together on a joint ticket back in 2012.

In conclusion, President Kenyatta said he would not seek to change the constitution to seek a third presidential term and that he did not wish to remain in power, even if a position of prime minister was created for him through a constitutional reform currently under deliberation.

Liberty Pazvakawambwa

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