5 Times President Uhuru Kenyatta Showed his Dark Side

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta has always appeared poised, composed while in the glare of the public, occasionally painting the portrait of a President who is still an ordinary mwananchi (citizen).

    These picture-perfect moments have, however, been coloured with a few spates that left Kenyans amused and shocked in equal measure.

    1. Ordering Media out of His Function

    On February 2, 2018, during an event at the Kenya School of Government, President Kenyatta ordered journalists to leave after he concluded his speech.

    [caption caption="President Kenyatta when he kicked out journalists on February 2, 2018"][/caption]

    "Sasa si nyinyi mzime hiyo vitu yenu na muende. Kazi imeisha sasa (Shut down your cameras and leave. Your work here is done.)," the President stated.

    The statement came as a shock because, at the time, the government's shutdown for the country's top three TV stations had just entered its fourth day. The shut down lasted seven days.

    2. Outburst after Supreme Court Nullification of his win

    President Kenyatta on September 1, 2017, called Chief Justice David Maraga and the Supreme Court bench a bunch of crooks after they passed a majority ruling to nullify his August 8 election win.

    While addressing a crowd at Burma Market, Nairobi, the President belittled the ruling adding that it had only served to restore his powers that had been tapered down awaiting his swearing-in.

    "Hapo awali nilikuwa Rais mtarajiwa lakini Maraga na hao wakora wake wakafanya vile wamefanya. Sasa mimi si Rais mtarajiwa tena! Mimi ni Rais amekalia kiti. (Before today I was the President-in-waiting but Maraga and his fellow crooks did what they did. I'm no longer a President-in-waiting! I am fully the President!)," he boomed to the amusement of his listeners.

    3. Called Raila a Witch Doctor and a Mad man

    On separate occasions, President Kenyatta has referred to Opposition chief Raila Odinga as a "witch doctor" and in his vernacular, a "madman".

    [caption caption="File image of President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House"][/caption]

    On November 4, 2016, the President responded with an insult to Mr Odinga's, claims that the Sh6.8 billion Northern Water Collector Tunnel Project would turn six counties into deserts and an indictment on a Sh5.3 billion Health Ministry scandal.

    "Mganga hawezi kuona haya...yake ni vile ata-incite wanainchi ili wakasirike, si kuwapea suluhu, kwa sababu hiyo ndio siasa yake. (A witch doctor can never be ashamed...he will incite Kenyans to anger without offering solutions because that is the kind of politics he knows)," he stated.

    On December 1, 2016, while speaking at Nyeri, the President referred to Mr Odinga as "muguruki" which in Kikuyu is translated to mean a madman.

    4. Uhuru up Against Governor Nanok

    One that proved to be a catastrophe for the President's communications team was the jab he threw at Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok whom he called a devil and a fool in March 2017.

    During a public forum, the Governor accused the President of doing nothing to help the people of Turkana to profit from oil reserves found in the region. He further warned Kenyatta that unless he acted, he would not receive votes from the region during the August 2017 election.

    "Mtu akisimama hapa na aseme eti Uhuru akona haja na pesa ya mafuta, ashindwe na Mungu, shetani mshenzi! Watu wasije kudanganya watu hapa, si mimi napitisha sheria ni Bunge alafu mjinga aje aanze...hee! (How can someone say Uhuru is interested in money from oil in Turkana? May God bring down such a devil. Don't lie to Kenya, it is Parliament that makes laws, I only append a signature then some fool starts saying...)," the President remarked.

    [caption caption="President Kenyatta during function where he insulted Gov Nanok"][/caption]

    5. At William Ole Ntimama's Funeral

    On September 11, 2016, both President Kenyatta and the Opposition leader attended the burial of veteran politician William Ole Ntimama in Kajiado.

    The President took offence when the former Prime Minister stated that the deceased politician had never backed the ruling party while he was alive.

    Uhuru reponded with the classic statement: "Sisi kiti tumekalia, wewe ni kutafuta... kwa hivo wenzetu endeleeni kumeeza mate lakini nyama tutakula (We are in power, you are still looking for a way to get it...so, my friends, continue to salivate as we devour the meat)."

    The statement would come to haunt him as Opposition supporters used it to claim that Jubilee government officials had been benefiting from corruption scandals.

    [caption caption="President Uhuru Kenyatta during William Ole Ntimama's funeral"][/caption]