In the hard-hitting interview by son of the retired president Mwai Kibaki, which has been causing ripples across the political scene in the country, Jimmy Kibaki has come out to offer the deputy president tips on how to conduct yourself when dealing with a president who is in power. He based this on the experience that the former Prime Minister Raila Odinga had when he decided to wage a vicious political war against Mwai Kibaki, who was, at the time, still his boss.
Raila Odinga and Mwai Kibaki had a spectacular falling out barely two years after they swept to power. This culminated in their titanic 2005 referendum face-off, after which Raila and his lieutenants were fired from government.
Jimmy Kibaki said,
“To put it more bluntly, I know someone whom I can’t vote for. I have my reasons, and they are not personal. I don’t think that the individual, whom I won’t name, has what it takes to maintain the stability of this country. I have young children. I have to think of them first before I think about anything else. Politics has become very cynical. Politicians don’t mean what they say; they just say things to flatter us…There were a lot of side shows. They then started seeing the 2005 referendum as an opportunity to settle scores, not an opportunity at Constitution making. Had they seen it that way, I think history would have been very different, but they decided to fight him. When you decide to fight a President, he’s not going to take it lying down.
If you were to discuss issues with my father, you’d certainly arrive at the realisation that he is not an unreasonable man. Had they engaged him directly, they would have gotten something. But, again, life is such that I cannot subdue my interests to accommodate yours. We can find a balance. They were looking at it from a personal point of view. What was good for the country was already in place. Had they sat down with the President the constitution we got in 2010 would have been in place five years earlier.”
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