Details emerge of plans to extend Uhuru’s term

Too young to retire?

File image of President Uhuru Kenyatta, DP Ruto and Jubilee party lawmakers at a recent meeting

Details have emerged of a plot to extend President Uhuru Kenyatta’s term as well as that of the current parliament.

According to a report published in The Standard on 23 August 2020, Members of Parliament are in talks to extend their term by one year in the guise of seeking more time to push through constitutional reforms.

The publication reported that this will be achieved by introducing a transition clause in the yet to be released Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report.

A high-ranking ODM party official who spoke to the publication on condition of anonymity confirmed that although the matter (of extending the life of the current parliament by a year) has not been discussed formally, it is one of the options on the table.

He added that the country is facing several pertinent issues and time is running out with the Covid-19 pandemic making things complex.

“We are faced with several issues and time is running out, so there is nothing wrong with exploring alternatives because the changes to the constitution are necessary,” stated the official.

Heated debate

The move is likely to elicit a heated debate in parliament and put Constitutional law experts to task.

Article 102 of the Constitution stipulates that “The term of each House of Parliament expires on the date of the next general election”.

“When Kenya is at war, Parliament may, by resolution supported in each House by at least two-thirds of all the members of the House, from time to time extend the term of Parliament by not more than six months at a time,” adds the article.

Despite several leaders maintain that President Uhuru Kenyatta is too young to retire, the president has on several occasions made it clear that he has no intention of staying in power, reiterating that he will leave office at the end of his current term.

The revelation comes amid assertion by many that 2020 is a “wasted year” with the Covid-19 pandemic slowing down almost all aspects of life.

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