Kenya ‘a beacon of democracy’ in East Africa, says expert
This week the world will pay a second visit to Kenya, another country in East Africa.
The visit will be as much about the nation’s politics as it will be about its people.
That makes it an important test of whether Kenya’s leaders have learned from the mistakes of the past.
In December 2013, then-president Uhuru Kenyatta won the world’s most famous and demanding election in an unprecedented election that was seen as a success for the country’s young and newly democratic leadership.
But after one year of Kenyan politics and the first term of the president’s second family, that dream has slowly faded into a nightmare.
Now Kenya’s president, who turns 40 this week, is being accused of a fresh round of alleged abuses, including the extrajudicial killing of a prominent opposition figure and the arbitrary arrest of political activists.
Kenya’s leadership is being accused of serious abuse of power by Mr Kenyatta, said to be motivated by an arrogant desire for power and his wife, Uhuru Kenyatta, by a love of power.
The country’s constitution bars anyone from running for the presidency who has previously served as a member of the ruling party. So Mr Uhuru Kenyatta has had to win his election by one of two methods: Either he can prove that he was born out of wedlock, or he can beat the requirement.
Mr Kenyatta’s critics say he should not be president on the basis of birth only because his father is the former president.
But the president’s opponents — including Mr Kenyatta and the opposition leaders — are calling for the president to be impeached for misusing his powers.
The Kenyan constitution declares the president “the chief executive of the state”. It also gives him powers to do everything from appointing the prime minister and defence minister to veto legislation in parliament, which it describes as an executive committee.
This has led to a growing international chorus calling for Mr Kenyatta to be removed from office. That’s partly because of his success, and partly because of the opposition’s fears that he may use