10 presidents headed to Kenya for fete

August 25, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya Aug 25 – At least 10 Heads of State and former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan are among high ranking dignitaries who have confirmed attendance at the promulgation of the new Constitution at Uhuru Park on Friday.

Head of Public Service Ambassador Francis Muthaura said Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, South Sudan\’s President Salva Kiir, the President of the Comoros as well as the former Ghanaian President John Kufuor are among those expected at the event.

“Our embassies will also be celebrating by organising functions for Kenyans in those countries,” he said.

Mr Annan will be accompanied by fellow members of the Panel of Eminent African Personalities who include Graca Machel and former President Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania

Ghana\’s former leader was at the centre of bringing peace during the post election violence where he held separate talks with both sides involved in Kenya\’s election crisis.

The talks eventually lead to the signing of the National Accord by President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

President Kikwete was the one who witnessed the National Accord signing that ended the post-election violence.

His intervention came when chief mediator Kofi Annan had suspended the Serena talks after a scenario in which negotiators “agreed in the morning only to disagree in the afternoon’’.

On Wednesday, Mr Muthaura who was flanked by the Attorney General Amos Wako, Vice Chief of General Staff Lt.Gen. Julius Karangi, National Assembly Clerk Patrick Gichohi, National Security Intelligence Service Chief Michael Gichangi and Administration Police Commandant Kinuthia Mbugua said several other heads of state and representatives from various nations have also been invited to the historic event.

Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere said Wilson airport and the airspace around Uhuru Park would remain closed during the duration of the event as part of elaborate security measures put in place by the government.

The police chief said all precautions would be taken to secure the venue of the ceremony and all the borders with other countries like Somalia and Uganda.

"In total we have 8,000 officers including the National Youth Service who we have involved in the security operations for that day; in our borders we have adequate deployment of police together with the military we have platoons and company from the GSU, the Anti-Stock Theft Unit the Administration Police and the Military," he said.

Addressing a press conference at Uhuru Park, Mr Muthaura said the key highlight of the day would be the signing of the Constitution into law.

"The highlight of the ceremony will be the promulgation itself. The reading of the promulgation statement by the President and the signing of the new Constitution will be followed by a 21-gun salute as a jumbo national flag is raised. The flag will be a permanent feature in Uhuru Park," he said.

During the ceremony, the Chief Justice will be the first to take a new oath under the new law. He will then swear in the President, Prime Minister, Vice President and the Speaker to the National Assembly. Cabinet ministers and their assistants will be sworn in later in the day at State House, Nairobi.

Members of Parliament, magistrates and judges will be sworn in afresh on Saturday at Parliament Buildings and at the Law Courts respectively.



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