NARC-Kenya party leader Martha Karua has urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to facilitate a smooth handover of power to his successor as he nears the end of his Constitutionally-mandated 10-year term.
Karua, speaking during her party’s National Delegates Convention (NDC) at Ufungamano House in Nairobi on Friday, cautioned President Kenyatta against any perceived attempts at clinging on to power.
This she attributed to remarks from a section of the Head of State’s close confidantes that purportedly claimed he was too young to go home, and may instead stick around in another capacity, perhaps even as Prime Minister.
However, according to Karua, such a move would be illegal as the Constitution allows a leader of government business, regardless of their title (President/Prime Minister), to only serve for a maximum of 10 years.
“Tumeskia watu wakisema, na ata Attorney General amekuwa quoted akisema kwamba hakuna kizuizi la kikatiba rais kuchukua kazi nyingine kama Prime Minister. Niliwaambia kitambo, hiyo inaweza kuwa ni haramu, term limit ni kwamba wengine waweze kupata nafasi,” she said.
“I want to tell any fellow lawyer who may try to misinterpret the Constitution; the term limit means 10 years to steer the nation at the top level, you exit and go do something else. This is irrespective of your age, you could even be 40, term limit ikifika unarudi nyumbani.”
Karua further urged President Kenyatta to follow in the footsteps of his predecessors, the late former president Daniel Moi and retired Head of State Mwai Kibaki.
Moi and Kibaki, Karua said, transferred power willingly and peacefully when their respective times as Heads of State were up and retreated into private service, hence President Kenyatta should do the same.
“Wakati wa kwanza tuliona rais akiwacha mamlaka wakati wake ukifika ilikuwa ni 2002 wakati Kibaki alipoingia na Moi akaondoka. That was our first democratic transition. Ya pili ikawa ni 2013 wakati rais mstaafu Kibaki aliondoka na Uhuru Kenyatta akaingia,” she stated.
“Hii ya mwaka huu itakuwa ni ya tatu. Na lazima tuige mfano wa kuondoka kwa mamlaka wakati ukifika. Kwa sababu tuko na Constitutional term limit, ya kuwapatia Wakenya wengine waweze kuendeleza nchi yote na kuwapatia vyama vingine na watu wa tabaka vyote nafasi ya kuwania hiyo kiti.”
Karua also urged Kenyan voters to, during the forthcoming August polls, elect responsible leaders who have been tried and tested.