A suggestion by Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary-General Francis Atwoli to extend President Uhuru Kenyatta’s role after 2022 has sparked a fierce debate.
In his speech during Labour Day fete on Tuesday, Atwoli daringly suggested that Uhuru’s mandate should be extended after 2022 because “he is still young”.
He reinforced his suggestion with the call to amend the Constitution in what he said will create senior positions within the Executive to put an end to violent politics informed by lack of positions in government.
“We need to amend the Constitution,” Atwoli told workers during Labour Day celebrations at Uhuru Park in Nairobi according to Daily Nation.
“Let us use the Bomas Draft, because the problem we have now is exclusion. Not everyone can be president, (and so) the Constitution should be amended to accommodate more people,” said Atwoli
“If we do not amend the Constitution, where do you think Uhuru will go, and he is a young man? We must amend it and fix him somewhere, or he’ll start disturbing those who’ll take over,” added the trade unionist.
However, the political class led by Tharaka-Nithi Governor said such a suggestion is backward.
“I urge Uhuru to look at respected leaders like (former US President Barack) Obama, who retired at 54. If he does not want to destroy what has been a hard-fought legacy, he should not allow people to impose him on Kenyans after 2022,” said the Governor.
The Governor said there could be some hardliners within the President’s circle trying to push this agenda for the sole purpose of holding on to power.
“I will oppose this kind of change because it is oppressive and selfish,” vowed Njuki.
Leader of Majority in the Senate Kipchumba Murkomen termed Atwoli’s suggestion as warped.
The Elgeyo Marakwet Senator said it was thinking inspired by forces who want to “create jobs for those who are already in authority”.
The opposition which was represented at the fete by Raila Odinga and Musalia Mudavadi remained mum on the issue which they once pushed for.