Of course, Uhuru Kenyatta is the son of the First President of Kenya Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. And for one thing, Uhuru was raised in a wealthy and politically powerful Kikuyu family. In fact, Uhuru is one of the most prominent and equally rich among many Kenyan businessmen and politicians.
Accounting part of his wealth source from his inheritance and adding to a long list of his cumulative business empires. Eventually, this is after he assumed some responsibility for managing his family’s extensive business holdings.
He held several government posts before being elected president of Kenya in 2013. And thereafter, being reelected in the presidential office as of 2017.
Uhuru was previously associated with the Kenya Africa National Union before joining The National Alliance, one of the allied parties that campaigned for his reelection during the 2017 general elections. Meanwhile, the International Criminal Court (ICC) had started an investigation into the violence that followed the December 2007 polls.
In late 2010 Kenyatta among the list of names (by the ICC) as one of the six suspects. Thought to be most responsible for instigating post-election violence. However, he immediately disputed the allegations and proclaimed his innocence.
Where was Uhuru Kenyatta born?
Notably, Uhuru Kenyatta was born Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta on October 26, 1961, in Nairobi, Kenya. Not forgetting, he is the son of Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya’s first President, and his fourth wife Mama Ngina Kenyatta. Basically, his family hails from the Kikuyu, a Bantu ethnic group.
His given name “Uhuru” is from the Swahili term for “Freedom“, and was given to him in anticipation of Kenya’s upcoming independence. During his schooling life, he attended St. Mary’s School in Nairobi, between 1979 and 1980.
At St. Marys he played as a winger for the school’s rugby team and he also briefly worked as a teller at the Kenya Commercial Bank. Thereafter, he went on to study political science and economics at Amherst College in Massachusetts.
After his return to Kenya, he started a horticultural business that became quite successful.
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First, Kenya’s first President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta married four wives, Grace Wahu, Edna Clarke, Grace Wanjiku and Mama Ngina. And his children included President Uhuru Kenyatta, by his fourth and youngest wife, Ngina.
But, no much information is known about the rest of Kenyatta’s children and wives. His eldest son Peter Muigai Kenyatta by first wife Grace Wahu was born in 1920 and died in October 1979. Barely a year after his father’s demise on August 22, 1978.
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Secondly, Kenyatta became politically active in the 1990s. In 1997 he was chair of a local branch of the Kenya African National Union (KANU)—the longtime ruling party that his father had once led—and later that year ran unsuccessfully for a parliamentary seat.
In spite of his loss, KANU leader and Kenyan President Daniel Arap Moi seemed intent on grooming him for a greater role in public service. He appointed Kenyatta to chair the Kenya Tourist Board in 1999. Additionally, the following year Kenyatta got the task of chairing the Disaster Emergency Response Committee.
How did Uhuru Kenyatta Rise to Power?
By all means, Kenyatta’s political profile rose considerably in October 2001, when he was nominated by the late President Daniel Moi to fill a parliament seat. Moi then elevated him to the cabinet as minister for local government a month later. In 2002, Kenyatta (among four others) won an election as the KANU’s vice-chair.
Also that year, he awarded the KANU’s presidential candidature. A controversial move engineered by outgoing President Moi. Who was ineligible to stand for another term and wanted someone of his own choosing to succeed him. Definitely, many feared that Moi would continue ruling through Kenyatta if the young man was elected.
Unfortunately, Moi’s machinations backfired, however, as some KANU members bristled at the lack of debate within the party. Regarding Kenyatta’s selection as Moi’s successor and they left KANU to support opposition leader Mwai Kibaki. And who handily defeated Kenyatta in elections held in December 2002.
Kenyatta then assumed the position of leader of the opposition in parliament. Equally important, his star continued rising within KANU. Taking the party chairmanship in 2005. In the run-up to Kenya’s next presidential election, held in December 2007, Kenyatta again threw his hat into the ring.
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But, he withdrew his candidacy a few months before the election. And opted instead to back Kibaki, who was running for reelection against Raila Odinga and several other challengers. When the elections were announced, Odinga did not coincide defeat to Kibaki but there was a rejection. Particularly, by many of the latter’s supporters.
This was followed by weeks of widespread violence along ethnic lines, with the Kikuyu, Kenya’s largest ethnic group, being both instigators and targets of violence. Kibaki initially named Kenyatta as minister of local government in January 2008. But, in a coalition government formed in April Kenyatta was appointed deputy prime minister and minister of trade.
The next year, he saw a transfer from the ministry of trade to the minister of finance. While at the same time, in January 2012 the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced that four of the six suspects, including Kenyatta, would face trial. With charges of crimes against humanity.
And the charges included allegations that Kenyatta had helped mobilize and fund the Mungiki, a Kikuyu criminal gang, in the group’s attacks on Odinga’s supporters in the aftermath of the disputed election. Shortly after the announcement of the charges, Kenyatta resigned as minister of finance. But remained in his post as deputy prime minister.
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The ICC charges did not dissuade Kenyatta from once again pursuing his aspirations for the presidency. Kenyatta and KANU parted ways in April 2012. And the next month Kenyatta launched a new party, The National Alliance (TNA).
For your information, The National Alliance was founded as the National Alliance Party of Kenya (NAP) on 3 July 2000. The leaders of the communities represented at the inaugural meeting subsequently approached Lawrence Nginyo Kariuki. A prominent businessman and politician to be the founding chairman of the Alliance and Kariuki consented.
Later that year he and TNA became part of a multiparty alliance known as the Jubilee Coalition, which also included one of the other ICC suspects, William Ruto, and his United Republican Party.
How much is Uhuru Kenyatta worth?
Although not all figures are accounted for, as for his wealth, Uhuru Kenyatta is heir to some of the largest landholdings in Kenya. With an Estimated Net Worth of around $600 Million (equivalent to Kshs. 60 Billion).
After all, he owns at least 500,000 acres of prime land spread across the country. So to say, acquired by his father in the late 60s and 70s. Especially, when the British colonial government and the World Bank-funded a settlement transfer fund scheme.
That enabled government officials and wealthy Kenyans to acquire land from the British at very low prices.
His eldest son Jaba married Achola Ngobi in a traditional wedding ceremony that was the talk of the nation sometimes back.
In addition, Uhuru and his family also own the Brookside Dairy (Kenya’s largest dairy company) As well as stakes in K24 (one of the popular television station in Kenya) and Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA Group) in Nairobi, Kenya. Among other interests.
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Chiefly, as the president of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta had to deal with the increasing threat from al-Shabaab. An Islamic militant group based in the neighboring country of Somalia. And angered over Kenya’s military involvement against them in that country.
In retaliation, the group launched a number of deadly attacks on Kenyan soil. Domestically, Kenyatta presided over the implementation of a new government administrative unit of counties. All in all, which replaced the previous unit of provinces. As well as fielding complaints of poor government, corruption, and insecurity.
Finally, I hope you have enjoyed reading the above Biography Profile of Uhuru Kenyatta.