, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 24 – Close to 20 Heads of State are among high profile international dignitaries invited to attend Friday\’s ceremony to promulgate the new constitution at Uhuru Park in Nairobi.
The government said on Tuesday that it had sent invitations to several other dignitaries who are expected to grace the occasion to witness President Mwai Kibaki promulgate the new constitution.
Senior government officials who attended a briefing session with security officials and media personnel at Uhuru Park on Tuesday said all the necessary arrangements had been put in place to ensure that everything goes according to plan on the historic day.
“I can assure you Uhuru Park will under guard 48 hours before the event; the security will be here as from tomorrow (Wednesday), no unauthorised people will enter here,” said Director of Police Operations Julius Ndegwa.
He said police and the military were coordinating an elaborate security plan for the momentous day with enough security officers assigned to conduct thorough screening of people entering the park.
Mr Ndegwa said those wishing to attend the celebration should be seated by 8am and that only authorised people will be allowed near the VIP dais.
The park has been a beehive of activity with military personnel taking part in practice sessions while officials from the City Council are busy sprucing up the park.
Organisers of the event have promised that the day will be orderly unlike the hand-over of power on December 30, 2002 when lack of proper planning and poor protocol were clearly evident.
All roads around Uhuru Park will remain closed from early as 8am. They include Uhuru Highway, Haile Selassie Avenue, Processional way and Cathedral Road which will be closed for security and coordination purposes.
VIPs will use the entrance from Serena Hotel while the public will access the park from the Railway club, Uhuru Highway and the Freedom corner.
The public can also view the proceedings from huge television screens that will be fitted around the park.
The event will be marked with a 21-gun salute which is a rare occurrence unless at high-profile State functions.