BY PETER AMUNGA
In an exclusive interview, the Kenyan President warned that it was too early to say the worst was behind regarding the pandemic. He said he had ordered a relaxation of restrictions because the trend of infections was improving but he said schools would remain closed for now and refused to give a date for their reopening. He said the country’s economic had been hit but said Kenya had fared better than many countries and added that he was optimistic for the future of the of the economy. He vowed to leave no stone unturned in the investigation into possible misuse of funds dedicated to Covid by the Kenya Medical supply agency, stressing that investigations had been launched and would be pursued wherever they might lead.
He hailed the business deals signed in France for infrastructure projects in Kenya, stressing that they would be financed by the private sector and, as such, now add more government debt.
With regards to terrorism, he said the threat to his country had sharply diminished. He said the Al Shaba group remained the main danger. He didn’t commit to a date for Kenyan troops to withdraw from Somalia. He vividly denied reports that the US military has sought authorization to carry out drone strikes inside Kenya. He stressed that were this to happen, he would refuse it.
Asked about an advisory issued by the Chief Justice to dissolve parliament because gender-equality measures had not been enacted, he said that the decision was before the courts, while adding that dissolving parliament was not his intention.
With regards to his tense relation with deputy president William Ruto, he warned that now was not the time to campaign for the 2022 presidential election but instead work to improve inclusiveness by reaching out to the opposition. He said such a move was not aimed at weakening his vice-president but he refused to commit to support him in 2022, as both men had agreed when they decided to run together on a ticket back in 2012. He said he would not seek to change the constitution to seek a third presidential term and that he did not want to remain in power even if a position of Prime Minister was created for him thorough a constitutional reform currently under consideration.