Saturday, September 20, 2008



September 20, 2008
The Standard
Nairobi, Kenya
By Martin Mutua

The President’s son Jimmy Kibaki has said his father will retire from politics in four years.

He told politicians under Party of National Unity umbrella to heed his call and form a strong party.

Jimmy said Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga agreed the country should adopt a parliamentary system of government.

"The President and Prime Minister have agreed that Kenya is to move towards the parliamentary system, as the way forward. That is the best way to go," he said.

Jimmy Kibaki at a past function. He said the President will retire from politics in four years. Photo: File

Jimmy further said it was not the best tribe that would come to power, but the party with the majority.

"That is why I am telling PNU that when the President talks about coming together he knows what he is saying, since he has been in politics for over 30 years," he added.

He said many politicians believed the best way to round up supporters was through their various ethnic groups, a move that Kenyans must denounce.

‘Honourable’ members

"There are those who believe in ethnic genocide. Some of them even sit in Cabinet and are being called ‘honourable’," he said.

Jimmy said were the parliamentary system to be adopted today, ODM would have formed the government, because it has over 90 seats, while PNU has about 40.

He was speaking when he presided at a harambee dinner at the Goan Gymkhana in Nairobi, last weekend. It was in aid of Karima Catholic Church in Othaya.

Nyeri Catholic Archbishop Peter Kairo, Gender Affairs minister Esther Murugi, Youth and Sports Assistant Minister Kabando wa Kabando and Makadara MP Dick Wathika attended the event. Sh4.2 million was raised.

President Kibaki and First Lady Lucy donated Sh400,000, Raila gave Sh100,000 and Jimmy and friends gave Sh2.08 million.

Jimmy also took issue with Justice Minister Martha Karua for launching a presidential campaign four years in advance.

"I can tell you a serious presidential campaign requires only two years and I advise Martha to embark on it in 2010," he said.

The President’s son criticised Central Province politicians disregarding Kibaki’s advise to strengthen PNU.

"In the politics of Central, the person who commands most clout is well known to us," he said, amid applause.

Quoting from US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s book Audacity of Hope, Jimmy said following post-election violence, many Kenyans had lost hope, which needs to be restored by leaders.