, NAIROBI, Kenya Dec 13 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday decorated heroic security officers and visiting Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for distinguished service.
Among the security officers were three who were posthumously awarded the Uhodari Medal for bravery. The officers were Sgt Dadacha Diba, Cpl Chesang Kipyegon Erick and Cpl Tonui Bernard Kipkemoi.
Cpl Tonui was the leader of the response team that was deployed in Garissa University after terrorists invaded the institution last April. He held an armed attacker and paved the way for the rest of the team to successfully rescue many students who had been taken hostage. He was unfortunately fatally wounded.
Major Otongo Jonathan Kingu and Commissioner of Police Yakub Rashid Abdullahi were given the Distinguished Conduct Order (DCO). Yakub is the Garissa County Commander and has accomplished numerous assignments with outstanding diligence and performance.
Recently, he led an operation to a Kenyan teacher who was kidnapped from Dadaab refugee camp by al shabaab. Senior Sergeant Wikwa Joram was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.
15 other officers were awarded the Silver Star of Kenya (SS) for bravery. Among them was Sgt Rage Harret Dahir of the Kenya Army. He was awarded for the bravery he showed on Sunday 2nd November 2014 at 4.30 a.m. when a gang of 26 attacked the 17 Kenya Rifles Nyali Barracks in Mombasa.
With some of his colleagues fatally wounded, he faced the militants alone as he awaited reinforcement. Since the gang was at close quarters, he shot the first one dead while the rest engaged him in hand to hand combat. He was awarded for his rare act of bravery that saved the camp from the attackers.
The other officers who received the Silver Star of Kenya (SS) were Cpl Sinyaro Peter Werema, Cpl Kaino Joseph Chemwetich, Cpl Kiprotich Isaac Salat, Cpl Kitavi Muthini, SSgt Kamaya James Mwendwa, Major Rono Vincent Kiplangat, Major Muthuri Douglas Gitonga, Lt Okongo Dennis Wando (posthumous), Pte Mwangi James Njane, Pte Polemungura Carlos Arupe, L/Cpl Ticky Alexander Onyango, WO11 Ibrahim Adam, Sgt Farah Musa Abdi (posthumous) and Col Omenda John Mugaravai.
President Sirleaf, who is the first African woman Head of State, received First Class: Chief of the Order of the Golden Heart (CGH) for her role in reconstructing Liberia after civil conflict that left over 200,000 people killed between 1989 to 1997.
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta was awarded the Second Class: Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart (E.G.H) for her exemplary role in spearheading the beyond Zero campaign that is aimed at reducing child mortality in the country.
The Deputy President’s wife, Rachel Chebet Ruto, was also awarded the Second Class: Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart (E.G.H) for her role in promoting the table banking concept, an investment initiative targeting women and awarded Second Class in the Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart.
Top security bosses including Chief of Defence Forces Gen Samson Mwathethe and Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinett and senior government officials were among more than 300 Kenyans honoured at the ceremony held during a State Luncheon at State House on Jamhuri Day.