Despite having suffered setbacks in the parliamentary and presidential elections of 1997 and 2002, he has little by little established himself as one of the central figures in Kenyan political life. He has been a deputy since 2001, deputy prime minister since 2008 and was minister of finance from 2008 to 2012. And he still hopes to follow in his father’s footsteps. He plans to stand again for president in the March 2013 general elections, which he plans to contest as head of a new political party, The National Alliance.
His political ambitions risk being hampered, however, as a result of his having been charged before the International Criminal Court (ICC) for his involvement in the post-electoral violence which broke out in Kenya in late 2007 and early 2008. The charge forced him to resign as minister of finance in January 2012. His trial, which is expected to take place in April 2013, between the two rounds of voting in the presidential elections, could compromise his chances of becoming president.
This is all the more the case for the fact that his running mate, William Ruto, has also been charged by the ICC. The two were nevertheless seen in late 2012 as posing the most serious challenge to the team leading the polls for the presidential elections, prime minister Raila Odinga and vice president Kalonzo Musyoka.
Whatever the outcome, Kenyatta’s family fortune, his widespread political support and the lasting aura of his father will ensure that he will continue to exercise strong influence in Kenya, particularly within the Kikuyu community.