Uhuru Kenyatta

  1. Kenya president makes plea against Covid travel bans

    Ferdinand Omondi

    BBC News, Nairobi

    Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has asked countries around the globe not to lock Africa out of international travel on account of the new Omicron variant of Covid-19.

    The US, UK, Israel and the 27 member states of the European Union are among those who've enforced travel bans mostly targeted at southern African countries.

    South Africa announced discovery of the new, highly infectious virus strain last week, although it has also been detected across Europe - and Dutch authorities now believe it was already present in their country when South Africa first alerted the World Health Organization.

    President Kenyatta made the comments in what could be his last state of the nation address before parliament ahead of next year’s general election in Kenya.

    He said African countries had made great progress in tackling coronavirus since it was first detected, and added the new Omicron variant would not be defeated by locking off or shutting down the continent.

    President Kenyatta noted that Kenya for instance had vaccinated more than seven million people, about 13% of the population, against a set target of 10 million by December.

    He also said that Kenya had greatly improved the country’s health infrastructure since March last year when Covid-19 was declared a pandemic.

  2. Kenyatta raises thorny issue of visas with Ramaphosa

    Vumani Mkhize

    BBC Africa Business

    President Cyril Ramaphosa walks with Kenya"s President Uhuru Kenyatta during his state visit at the government"s Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa, November 23, 2021.
    Image caption: President Ramaphosa (R) hosted President Kenyatta (L) at the Union Buildings, the seat of government, in Pretoria

    Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta is on a two-day official visit to South Africa, where he has held talks with his host Cyril Ramaphosa on a wide range of issues.

    On the thorny issue of visas, which are seen as onerous to Kenyans, President Ramaphosa said he would form a team to look into the issues raised by East African travellers.

    Last year South Africa exported $480m ($358m) worth of goods to Kenya, while only importing $20m.

    The two presidents resolved to address this trade imbalance and Mr Ramaphosa said any unnecessary trade barriers would be removed. He added that he wanted to see more Kenyan products in South Africa.

    Tomorrow President Kenyatta will visit a vaccine manufacturing facility. He has criticised the "hoarding" of vaccines by the West and called for Africa to make its own vaccines.

  3. Video content

    Video caption: COP26: Kenya's president says Paris climate pledges remain unfulfilled

    Uhuru Kenyatta says he will ask world leaders at COP26 if promises made six years ago can be fulfilled.

  4. Kenyatta to meet Joe Biden at White House

    Photo of President Kenyatta smiling at a press conference at the UN.

    Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta is set to become the first African leader to be hosted by the US President Joe Biden at the White House on Thursday.

    White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said the two would discuss "efforts to defend democracy and human rights, advance peace and security, accelerate economic growth, and tackle climate change".

    The presidents will also talk about "the need to bring transparency and accountability to domestic and international financial systems".

    The meeting comes weeks after President Kenyatta's name appeared in the Pandora Papers leak over international financial dealings.

    President Kenyatta said he would respond to the allegations after he returns from his trip.

  5. Video content

    Video caption: Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta criticises 'vaccine nationalism'

    Uhuru Kenyatta says nationalism is why more Kenyans have not been vaccinated.

  6. Kenyatta mourns Prince Philip the 'great man'

    Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta has paid tribute to UK's Prince Philip who has died aged 99.

    View more on twitter
    Quote Message: His Royal Highness Prince Philip has been a towering symbol of family values and the unity of the British people as well as the entire global community. Certainly, we mourn a great man who cherished and worked for peaceful co-existence of the human race"
  7. Kenya's president explains why he quit Twitter

    Uhuru Kenyatta

    Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta has said he closed his personal Twitter account because of insults.

    Mr Kenyatta on Wednesday said he would get angered by the insults on Twitter and couldn't sleep.

    "I would rather talk to my wife and sleep and wake up in the morning to work," he said in Swahili.

    The head of state's personal twitter account had more than three million followers but it was deactivated and his administration now uses a State House account, which has around one million followers.

    The communication team did not at the time reveal the reason for deactivating the president's account.

    Kenyans on Twitter are known for expressing themselves on the platform often leading to online fights with tweeters from other countries.

  8. Kenya president refuses to rule out comeback as PM

    Peter Wakaba

    BBC News, Nairobi

    President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy President William Ruto
    Image caption: President Uhuru Kenyatta (R) had previously promised to hand power to his deputy William Ruto (L)

    Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has refused to rule out the possibility that the position of prime minister may be created in an upcoming referendum as a way to see him retain power past the constitutional limit of two terms for a president.

    Mr Kenyatta is due to leave office in 2022.

    In a streamed interview with Financial Times journalist Katrina Manson, the president refused to comment on "non-existent positions".

    He however was categorical that he would not stay on as president beyond his two terms, saying the constitution and the people of Kenya were very clear about that.

    "Kenyans are very clear about the two-term limit since 2002, when it came into effect. No president has broken that. And I have no intention of being the first," he said.

    The president said Kenya would hold a referendum soon to, according to him, "change parts of the constitution that would periodically need amendments, a fact that even its creators acknowledged".

    He also addressed concerns about the free trade deal being negotiated between Kenya and the US, saying it would be a negotiation of equals despite the different economic and political power of the two countries.

    A host of civil society organisations, who maintain that the trade deal will be a disaster for the Kenyan economy, tweeted their opposition under the hashtag #NoToKenyaUSFTA.

    Mr Kenyatta also had a message for those holding Black Lives Matter protests in the US and across the world: "All lives matter, but there should not be any targeted oppression of any group in society."

  9. Nkurunziza death: Kenya flags to be flown half-mast

    Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Burundi counterpart Pierre Nkurunziza and their wives
    Image caption: President Kenyatta (R) was among the first regional leaders to send condolences

    Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered that flags be flown at half-mast across the country from Saturday in honour of the late Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza.

    The order on Kenyan and East Africa Community flags will remain in effect until Mr Nkurunziza is buried.

    Local media has reported on the close friendship between President Kenyatta and the late Nkurunziza.

    The Star newspaper quoted diplomatic sources as saying that the late president was to be flown to either Kenya's capital, Nairobi, or Tanzania's commercial hub, Dar es Salaam, for treatment.

    Burundi first lady Denise Nkurunziza was being treated in Kenya when her husband's death was announced.

    President Kenyatta on Tuesday sent his condolences to the first lady and the people of Burundi.

  10. Kenya leader strips his deputy of powers

    Ferdinand Omondi

    BBC News, Nairobi

    President Uhuru Kenyatta (L) and his deputy William Ruto
    Image caption: President Kenyatta (L) has previously accused William Ruto's supporters of undermining his agenda for the country

    Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has reorganised his government and stripped his deputy of power-sharing privileges.

    The revised executive order has raised sharp debate in Kenya.

    Some say it is routine and innocuous - that the presidency simply changing its name on paper to the Executive Office of the President.

    But others are convinced it means President Kenyatta will no longer seek Deputy President William Ruto’s approval on important state affairs.

    The deputy president may also lose direct funding to his office and power to appoint his staff. The head of public service has already alerted the finance ministry of the changes ahead of next week’s reading of the national budget.

    Previously the pair - who first joined forces in 2012 as suspects at the International Criminal Court - consulted on key matters, including state appointments and government business in parliament.

    But Mr Ruto has been in the shadows lately as President Kenyatta reorganises the ruling party and influential positions in parliament and the senate, as he seeks to stamp his legacy before leaving office at the end of his term in 2022.

    Some analysts see these changes as President Kenyatta asserting his authority after voicing frustrations with the deputy president’s supporters in government, who he has accused of undermining his agenda for the country.

    Already the ruling party has dismissed legislators perceived to be close to the deputy president from key roles in the house committees, replacing them with the president’s loyalists.

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  11. Trump speaks to African leaders on Covid-19 response

    US President Donald Trump speaks on the telephone
    Image caption: President Trump spoke with President Cyril Ramaphosa and President Uhuru Kenyatta

    US President Donald Trump held telephone conversations with two African leaders about their responses to the coronavirus pandemic

    Mr Trump spoke with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya on Thursday.

    He offered assistance to South Africa to support its efforts to battle the pandemic and said that the US stands with the people of South Africa in the battle against the pandemic, according to a readout of their conversation.

    President Trump also offered assistance to Kenya’s response to coronavirus and agreed to remain in close communication with President Kenyatta.