US-based Kenyan lawyer Prof Makau Mutua Thursday said he is considering running for president in 2022 to offer the country fresh and untainted leadership.
Prof Mutua, known for his hard-hitting newspaper columns, said he feels compelled to offer himself for election because Kenya needs to be rescued from mediocre people who want to lead it.
"My time has come. If not now, when? If not me, who?" he posed to the Nation in an interview to clarify a tweet that set off a storm online on Wednesday.
The lawyer who refused to recognise Uhuru Kenyatta as president after his election in 2013 said he's considering "very seriously" a bid for the top office, but that is if there will be no ideal candidate for Kenya.
"I would run not because of blind ambition, like some past candidates, but because I believe I have the best policy prescriptions and moral standing that dwarf any other candidate" explained Prof Mutua.
He said, if a certain morally compassionate person who he considers the perfect candidate for presidency doesn't run, he'll take that as an opportunity to enter the race in order to change the country.
"It may not be an actual person, it is largely a prototype candidate. But if I do jump in the race, I'll be a formidable candidate likely to turn Kenyan politics on its head and upend the existing assumptions about leadership" he said.
Prof Mutua said Kenyans are yearning for new leadership devoid of the usual ethnic considerations and has the best credentials voters are looking for.
Asked whether he has the capacity to assemble a campaign war chest to mount a successful presidential bid within the remaining three years, Prof Mutua said money won't be an obstacle even though he doesn't want to buy the election.
"We have extensive networks of clean and uncorrupted resources, both financial and moral. But that's not our most important question. I don't intend to buy the election" he said adding he'll endeavour to conduct politics in a manner that wins the hearts and minds of Kenyans.
In the last two presidential elections, Prof Mutua has thrown his weight behind the National Super Alliance (Nasa) ticket of ODM party leader Raila Odinga and his running mate Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka.
He played a major role in the negotiations among opposition politicians on was to be the coalition's flag bearer and assembling the Nasa line-up.
Born in 1958 at Ngiini village in Kitui County, Prof Mutua made history as the first African-born person to head an American law school when he was appointed the first black Dean of SUNY (State University of New York) Buffalo Law School.
Following the retirement of former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga in June 2016, Prof Mutua was among the 10 people who applied for the job but despite his strong credentials, he wasn't shortlisted.
He has written several books and dozens of scholarly articles on the reconstruction and re-imagination of the state, but in the United States where he has lived most of his adult life, he has been recognised for his work as both a professor and scholar.
Prof Mutua served as Vice President of the American Society of International Law, the most prestigious professional society for international lawyers and has taught at Harvard Law School and other leading US law schools.