Flags at half-mast as Kenya mourns Mandela

President Kenyatta further ordered flags to be flown at half-mast for the three days in honour of the legendary African leader starting Saturday/XINHUA FILE

President Kenyatta further ordered flags to be flown at half-mast for the three days in honour of the legendary African leader starting Saturday/XINHUA FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 6 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday declared three days of mourning following the death of former South African President Nelson Mandela.

President Kenyatta further ordered flags to be flown at half-mast for the three days in honour of the legendary African leader starting Saturday.

His directive came as Kenya got closer in holding big celebrations to mark the country’s 50th anniversary of independence.

Earlier, Kenyatta sent a message of commiseration and described the death of Mandela as a big loss to the entire world.

President Kenyatta observed that Mandela led the fight to free Africa not only from political bondage but also from the scourge of disease, poverty, poor governance and illiteracy -ills of modern life.

He added that the anti-apartheid hero and Nobel Laureate embodied the power of hope and believed in the power of forgiveness.

“He bequeathed us the understanding that we can and should unconditionally forgive those who wrong us. He was a firm believer that reconciliation is an imperative and is possible,” Kenyatta said.

According to him, the late Mandela’s life story also teaches the great lesson of the power of will in turning adversity to victory.

He pointed out that in his humility Mandela did what was right, made tremendous sacrifices and did not seek any form of personal praise.

“In short, President Mandela’s name is cast in the echelons of history. His image and standing among all men will forever stand tall. Madiba’s story defined and reflected the history and struggles of our continent,” the President said.

The Head of State added that in Mandela, people learn never to backtrack in their journey to chart their destiny as they have a responsibility of living by the ideals that he stood for.

“Only the truly exceptional people leave their mark in the world and Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was one of those. Madiba was a child and traditional chief of the Transkei and a leader in this world,” he said.

Deputy President William Ruto also sent his condolence and praised Mandela for his selfless leadership that has been recognized in the entire world.

Mandela who passed on at the age of 95 has been extolled across the world.

In the United States, President Barrack Obama ordered three days of mourning with flags flown at half-staff in honour of the hero.

France and Netherlands were also among many other countries that declared days of mourning following the death of Mandela.

JUDIE KABERIA

JUDIE KABERIA

Judie, a Special Projects Reporter started practicing journalism in 2003. She has worked in Kenya and Germany. Judie has scooped awards in Reproductive Health, Population, Gender and Development. She has participated in international conferences in Germany, Switzerland and Netherlands. Judie has written a booklet, 'Justice and Peace in the Kenyan Eye'. She has a soft spot for human rights, crime, peace and justice stories and she is now pursuing a Master's Degree at the University of Leicester (U.K).