In Summary

  • He said his trip to India had borne a deal to build a cancer treatment facility in the country.
  • President Kenyatta insisted that he had done all within his constitutional mandate to fight corruption in government.

As he gets to the end of his first term, President Uhuru Kenyatta says he has no regrets for the job he sought in 2013 but admits it has not been an easy one.

In a 45-minute interview with Citizen TV’s Nipashe at State House, Nairobi, President Kenyatta addressed issues ranging from corruption, the state of the economy, unemployment, the just-concluded doctors’ strike, insecurity in Laikipia and Baringo, and trips he made abroad that were criticised by the opposition, a ballooning wage bill, the performance of his government, his recent trip to Somalia, and the upcoming Jubilee Party nominations.

“I have no regrets, but I admit it is not an easy job. It has no Sunday, it has no day or night. It is a full time job. Things happen all the time and they all require your attention,” he said during the interview with journalists Lulu Hassan and Kanze Dena.

“It is not an easy thing to carry 40 million Kenyans on your shoulders,” he said with a broad smile.

But at the end of the day, Mr Kenyatta said, it is a joy for him to see the progress of the projects his administration has initiated.

NO PRIVACY

He said he no longer has time off or privacy, saying he is constantly on the public eye.

He spends his evenings with his wife Margaret since his three children Jomo, Jaba and Ngina are now adults, whom he said had moved out of the family home and were living on their own.

Sasa ni mimi na mama tu. (Now it is only me and my wife),” he said with a hearty laugh.

On his relationship with his political rivals, the President said he does not hate any one, saying that his differences with Opposition leader Raila Odinga is only political.

“I do not hate anyone. I refer to him as ndugu yangu (my brother) each time we meet. Political differences is not enmity," he responded in reference to the ODM leader.

“We are friends. I consider him my friend, unless he wants to say he is not.”

WAR ON GRAFT
On the foreign trips he made, which the Opposition criticised him for saying they were a waste of public resources, President Kenyatta defended them, saying they were for the benefit of the country and he could enumerate them.

For instance, in India, he said his visit had borne a deal to build a cancer treatment facility in the country, which he said would save lives.

In France, he said he had inked a deal for the return of the famous Peugeot vehicle’s assembly plant.

“You called me a tourist. But no man is an island. If you want to succeed, you must go out there,” he said of the trips, which had by end of 2015 surpassed President Mwai Kibaki’s 10-year reign by 10 trips.

When asked why Kenyans should re-elect him in August, he said they had initiated lots of development projects more than any other government since independence.

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