, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 12- President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday led the country in marking the 53rd Jamhuri celebrations since independence.
Security has been beefed up in and around Nyayo stadium where thousands of Kenyans including senior government officials are in attendance.
The day is marked even as the country continues to mourn the loss of 39 lives on Saturday night in an accident at Karai area in Naivasha.
Among the 39 lives lost include 11 officers from the General Service Unit , an elite squad that protects VIPs in the country, including the President.
The officers were on their way back to Nairobi from a 3 day assignment, during President Kenyatta’s tour in the Rift Valley.
The accident occurred when a Ugandan truck carrying inflammable substance hit a bump, then veered off the road and rammed into 13 other vehicles.
It exploded, leading to a fire ball that consumed the vehicles and their occupants.
Among the dead were passengers in a 14-seater Molo Line matatu.
Questions have been raised over visibility of the bumps that are said to have been erected on a steep with the Transport Principal Secretary Irungu Nyakera saying they will be re-examined, to avoid such incidents in future.
“The bumps were put there because we had a number of accidents…we will look at the design of the bumps maybe they are sharper than they should be and we will look for a better we to do it,” he said.
During this year’s celebrations, over 40 governors among other heroes from various counties across the nation will be awarded Head of State Commendations by the president.
“The President will use the occasion, as per established tradition, to confer honours on Kenyans, and other Africans, who have made outstanding contributions in various spheres of our development,” read a statement from the Presidential Strategic Communication Unit (PSCU).
Among government officials attending the function are Deputy President William Ruto, Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi, Senate Speaker Ekwe Ethuro and Chief Justice David Maraga.
Also present at the function are First Lady Magaret Kenyatta, deputy president’s wife Rachel Ruto, former First Lady Ngina Kenyatta and the president’s daughter Ngina Kenyatta.