PROFILE-Kenya's Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta

Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:02pm EST

* Position: Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister

* Birthdate: October 26, 1961

* Date Appointed: January 2009 -- Kenyatta has overseen unprecedented spending on infrastructure. In his budget speech for the fiscal year ending in June, the finance minister allocated 182 billion shillings, or 18 percent of the government's spending plan, for road, railway and energy projects.

-- He has tried to implement some measure of austerity at the Treasury with limited success. He suggested that ministers and high ranking officials downgrade to vehicles with lower engine capacities and mooted the idea that parliamentarians should pay tax.

-- The son of Kenya's founding father Jomo Kenyatta, he was named "Uhuru" for the Swahili word meaning freedom. He was born in October, 1961, two years before Kenya gained independence from Britain.

-- Kenyatta also serves as Kibaki's deputy prime minister in Kenya's first coalition government. He ran for the country's presidency, but lost to Kibaki in 2002.

-- Kenyatta has denied allegations that he is linked to a local militia, the Mungiki, that has attacked supporters of a rival political party, the Orange Democratic Movement. Mungiki is a murderous, mafia-style gang that operates in Nairobi and Central province, the heartland of the Kikuyus.

-- Last year, he was named as one of six Kenyans prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC) believe were behind murderous post-election violence after the 2007 vote.

-- Kenyatta has said he is not worried about the ICC process, and said it would not affect Kenyan markets or the economy. He intends to run for the presidency in elections scheduled for 2012.

-- Kenyatta's party backed Kibaki in the disputed 2007 election that led to the bloodshed. (Writing by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura; editing by Philippa Fletcher)

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