President Uhuru Kenyatta last evening extended the term of KDF chief General Samson Mwathethe’s term for one more year effective May 6.The reason given by the head of state for this extension is to give time for Inspector General Hillary Mutyambai to settle in the National Security Council before the Chief Defense Forces exits. Even though this may be partly true, there are deeper political reasons behind President Uhuru’s move.
General Mwathethe and the president have grown to be personal friends since he replaced Major Julius Karangi as Chief of KDF 5 years ago. Uhuru has bestowed his trust in Mwathethe and is a key ingredient in every political maneuver he has been making in the last 5 years.This extension of term limit points to plot of a major political move in near future by President Uhuru, and there is an urgent need to have a trusted lieutenant at the top of country’s defense forces.
Those in the know of country’s political deep state say the next one year will be so critical to Uhuru’s presidency as Kenya’s political terrain continue to have major shifts and realignment.The unity pact between Uhuru and Raila is at the center of it.hey Uhuru and Raila are setting up the country for a referendum either late this year, or early next year,hence the need for the President to have a trusted foot soldier like Mwathethe next to him.The President probably knows there could be a few rocky moments politically and he would rather a trusted man next to him.
KDF is at the center of country’s politics and the president himself has his stay in power depending on what type of relationship he has with the armed forces.The KDF Act gives the President powers to extend the term of office of military chiefs for a period not exceeding one year.