NAIROBI, July 14 – The Government is to commission a heroes square in Nairobi to honour Kenyans who have made personal sacrifices for the sake of the country, President Kibaki has said.,
The President who made the remarks Monday during the official opening of the newly refurbished and expanded Nairobi National Museum noted that the initiative was meant to recognize men and women who have played a significant role in the nation’s social and political development.
President Kibaki said, “My Government will continue to identify those who made personal sacrifices for the sake of our country in order to honour them as heroes and heroines.”
The Head of State noted that his Government has built mausoleums for national icons among them the late Bildad Kaggia, Paul Ngei, Koitalel Arap Samoei and unveiled a statue of the late freedom fighter, Dedan Kimathi.
He at the same time revealed that the Government was in the process of building a mausoleum for the late freedom hero, Achieng Oneko and a museum at the mausoleum of the late Tom Mboya.
Commending the National Museums for their central role in preserving the memories of Kenya’s national heroes, President Kibaki urged them to ardently pursue and repatriate all treasured artifacts belonging to the country that were taken away during the colonial era.
The President said, “It is important to keep in mind that there are numerous artifacts that were taken out of the country, especially during the colonial period. These are crucial aspects of our historical and cultural heritage, and therefore every effort must be made to bring them back.”
With regard to the expansion and modernization of the Museum, President Kibaki noted that the project was part of the Government’s reform agenda and commitment to empower the institution in fulfilling its mandate.
“The reforms have included the development of new and exciting exhibitions, revamping the legal framework that regulates the heritage sub-sector and undertaking administrative and organizational restructuring,” noted President Kibaki.
He further asked the Ministry of Finance to avail requisite resources for the completion of remaining galleries and further appealed to philanthropists and the private sector to support the work of the national museums.
The Head of State further expressed the Government’s commitment in creating an enabling environment and providing the necessary support for infrastructure investments in the heritage sector to benefit wananchi and attract international visitors.
He said, “Indeed, the cultural and natural heritage of our country is a major resource that can contribute towards diversification of our tourism products.”
Commending the board and management of the organization for conceptualizing and successfully implementing the project, President Kibaki urged them to take maximum care of the ultra-modern facility, which had now assumed a world class status, for the benefit of present and future generations.
“I have no doubt that visitors coming to this refurbished National Museum find the beautiful architecture, outdoor sculptures and attractive botanical gardens a most pleasant and refreshing experience,” observed the President.
President Kibaki appreciated the generous support of development partners towards the completion the project, particularly the European Union which advanced a grant of eight million euros towards the task.