, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 20 – The new committee set up to organise the commemoration of Kenya’s 50th birthday says celebrations will first be conducted at the county level culminating in national festivities on December 12.
Chairman Hassan Wario said all Kenyans will be encouraged to play a part in the process as he welcomed ideas from all quarters.
The Sports, Culture and Arts Cabinet Secretary stressed that the celebrations will present the country with an opportunity to reflect on the past, analyse the present and project the country’s aspirations for the next 50 years.
“Kenya at 50 initiatives within county governments are highly welcomed. Part of our programme includes activities at the county levels and we encourage all Kenyans to take part in celebrating our fifty years of independence,” he said.
Wario further pointed out that the committee will run an awareness campaign building up to the commemorations on December 12 (Jamhuri Day).
“One of the key activities that we have planned is to plant 50 million trees on that day so the issue is about environment, conservation, unity as we forge forward as a nation and that is why we underline the aspect of inclusivity – that every one of us as a Kenyan should be part and parcel of this,” he said.
The new 19-member committee was formed after the initial one was disbanded for drawing up an exorbitant Sh2.5bn budget to finance Kenya’s 50th birthday.
The previous committee, chaired by Interior Principal Secretary Mutea Iringo, had for instance allocated Sh690 million for events management and logistics.
A further Sh365 million had been set aside for entertainment while Sh320 million would have gone towards identifying Kenya’s most prominent personalities with their portraits being exhibited on billboards around Kenya.
Sh300 million would have been used to publicise the event for an entire week preceding December 12 while Sh286 million would have been spent on conferences and exhibitions.
A bronze statue was to be erected in honour of former President Mwai Kibaki at a cost of Sh50 million. This would have been to celebrate him for overseeing the promulgation of the new Constitution.