, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 20 – The historic Uhuru Gardens is set to be closed from Thursday to allow for refurbishments ahead of the Kenya at 50 celebrations.
Speaking during a press briefing at the site on Wednesday, Sports and Culture Secretary Hassan Wario stated that the Kenya @ 50 Steering Committee will oversee the renovations at the grounds which will include sprucing up of the monuments and landscaping.
He further pointed out that entrances and exits to be used during the celebrations will be clearly demarcated and sittings arrangements for invited guests planned out.
“This place will be closed because of security. It will be opened to the public form the 11th of December and we ask members of the public to come and have fun. There will be repairs to be done to the monuments,” he said.
“There is a lot of facelifts to be done since the monuments are derelict. There is landscaping and issues to do with securities that include the entrances and exits. Sitting arrangements will also be looked at during this event,” he stated.
Wario indicated that the event will begin on December 11 at the scenic park where there will be hoisting of the Kenyan Flag to symbolize the attainment of independence for the country.
He stated that the unveiling of the Kenya @ 50 logo by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Mashujaa day was the launch of the publicity and awareness activities.
“The [email protected] 50 secretariat will endeavor to promote unity among Kenyans, economic stability, Kenya’s attractive tourism sites and natural beauty, as well as the diversity in its people,” he said.
He emphasised that there were also a number of key legacy projects identified by the Secretariat aimed at protecting the environment, as well as transform the Health, Arts and Education sectors among others.
“This is an important milestone for our country and I look forward to participation from the private sector in partnering with us in this initiative, as we remember the heroes who dedicated their lives to build the Kenya that we are enjoying today,” he stated.
“We will have a lot of Kenyan local artists performing here and we encourage a multitude of Kenyans to come and have fun here. It will culminate at midnight when the flag will be hoisted and there will be fireworks and continuous music throughout the night. We want to leave something behind so that people in the future will see that those behind were serious and foresighted,” he said.
Nairobi Deputy Police Boss Moses Ombati who was present during the briefing further said that a police post has been set up in the area to ensure round the clock monitoring of the park.
“We have just opened a temporary police post purposely to monitor the activities within this area so that we do not have anything left by chance. We also have very good security arrangements at the hotels which are going to be used by the visitors,” he said.
In the morning, the team held a meeting of Principal Secretaries at The Nairobi City County Headquarters where they pledged to be fully involved in various departments to make the occasion memorable.
During the meeting attended by Interior Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku, the progress of the preparations was also reviewed.
Speaking during the event, Lenku reiterated the need for Kenyans to be more patriotic as this is the key to the development of the nation.
“When the 9-11 happened, nobody knew exactly how many Americans died. We believe that the numbers was to the millions of people, but because of their patriotism, we were told that about 3,000 people died. However in Kenya when the Westgate incident occurred, even the number of pigs on the floor were also counted,” he said.
He further explained that the [email protected] celebrations are aimed at enhancing the cohesiveness of Kenyan people.
“What I want to encourage Kenyans is to become patriotic of their country and even help those of us who are not strong to be strong. We are a team and we are always as strong as the weak link,” he said.